News Release

Badlands National Park is beginning to increase recreational access to Ben Reifel Visitor Center at Cedar Pass

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Date: July 15, 2020
Contact: Mike Pflaum

Badlands National Park, Interior, SD – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Badlands National Park is increasing recreational access and services. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning July 15, 2020, Badlands National Park will increase access to the Ben Reifel Visitor Center at Cedar Pass, with limited occupancy. The hours for the center will be from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. MDT daily.

In addition the following spaces continue to be available:   

  • All roads in the North Unit of Badlands National Park

  • All trails in the North Unit

  • All overlooks in the North Unit, except for Bigfoot Pass Overlook which is closed until later this summer due to construction 

  • Cedar Pass Campground and Sage Creek Primitive Campground

  • Cedar Pass Lodge Cabins

  • Cedar Pass Lodge Food Trailer

  • Cedar Pass Lodge Gift Shop

With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:

  • The entire South Unit of Badlands National Park, including the White River Visitor Center, in accordance with an ordinance of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Badlands National Park, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.  

While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.  

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Last updated: July 16, 2020

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25216 Ben Reifel Road
Interior, SD 57750


605 433-5361

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