Thing to Do

Drive Badlands Loop Road (Highway 240)

a paved road descends into a prairie landscape with buttes in the background.

Most visitors to Badlands National Park drive the Loop Road as part of their visit. Whether you get out at every overlook on the Loop Road or enjoy the views from the comfort of your car, you're sure to see some amazing vistas on this drive!

Overlooks on Badlands Loop Road

Badlands Loop Road features a number of overlooks and pull-offs to park safely and enjoy the view. From east to west, the overlooks on Badlands Loop Road are:

  • Big Badlands Overlook

  • White River Valley Overlook

  • Bigfoot Pass Overlook (includes a picnic area)

  • Panorama Point

  • Prairie Wind Overlook

  • Burns Basin Overlook

  • Homestead Overlook

  • Conata Basin Overlook

  • Yellow Mounds Overlook

  • Conata Picnic Area

  • Ancient Hunters Overlook

  • Pinnacles Overlook

Driving Badlands Loop Road

Badlands Loop Road (SD 240) is a spectacular way to see the North Unit of Badlands National Park. This two-lane paved road is appropriate for all motor vehicles but does include several steep passes and sections with reduced speed limits. Drive carefully, as wildlife is common along the Loop Road. Please use overlooks and pull-outs to stop for photos -- this allows traffic to proceed unimpeded along the Badlands Loop Road.

Along Badlands Loop Road, there are over a dozen spectacular overlooks and trailheads. These provide views of the park, informative displays, and access to hiking trails. The Ben Reifel Visitor Center is also located on Badlands Loop Road and provides information, maps, exhibits, and the park film. Sage Creek Rim Road can also be accessed from Badlands Loop Road -- the intersection is just north of the Pinnacles Overlook.

The Loop Road can be accessed by heading south from Interstate 90 via Exit 110 (Wall) or Exit 131. SD 44 provides an alternate, scenic access to the park and intersects SD 377 in the town of Interior. From Interior, follow SD 377 two miles north to the Interior Entrance and another half mile to Badlands Loop Road (240).

Safety Tips

  • Seeing Badlands National Park can be exciting, especially when you spot the perfect view. Be sure to pull off into a pull-out or overlook to enjoy. Please do not stop in the road, as this stops traffic.
  • Wildlife is commonly seen on many park roads. Remember to keep a minimum of a 100-foot distance from any wildlife -- if the wildlife notices you, you are too close.
  • Follow all posted speed limits and be especially careful when passing parking lots, where pedestrian traffic is common.
  • Check the weather. Weather in Badlands National Park can change rapidly. Use extra caution when driving in rainy, snowy, or icy conditions.
  • Lost? Cell phones are not always reliable in the park, where service can be spotty. Make sure to pick up a park map from an entry booth, the Ben Reifel Visitor Center, the White River Visitor Center, or check out online maps before heading out. 
  • Visit this safety page for more information on having a safe visit to Badlands National Park.
1-2 Hours
Scenic Driving
Pets are prohibited in the Ben Reifel Visitor Center unless they are a certified service animal. Emotional support animals are not service animals and are not allowed in the visitor center.

Pets are permitted in Badlands National Park with some restrictions. Pets must be kept on a leash no more than six feet in length at all times. Pets are only permitted in developed areas, such as campgrounds and picnic areas, and other areas open to motor vehicles, such as gravel and paved roadways, roadway corridors, and parking lots. Pets are prohibited from hiking trails, public buildings (i.e. visitor centers), and backcountry areas, including the Badlands Wilderness Area, and areas with prairie dog colonies. Pet etiquette dictates always cleaning up animal waste and disposing of it in trash receptacles.
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Watch for road conditions in the winter. Badlands Loop Road can be icy and slippery after a storm. The park plows the road when it is safe to do so, but the Loop Road does close due to weather conditions occasionally in the winter. Call the park at (605) 433-5361 to learn more about current road conditions.
The Badlands Loop Road is open to drive 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Accessibility Information
Most of the overlooks from Badlands Loop Road are wheelchair-accessible boardwalks.

Badlands National Park

Last updated: December 30, 2020