History and Location
The birthplace of Badlands and the lofty Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, is famous for the tourism industry. Many people chose South Dakota as a destination during holidays. One of the most visited tourist attractions in South Dakota is Badlands National Park. This American park is situated in the southwest part of South Dakota. The park is in charge of protecting sharp hills and mixed-grass prairie. The national park is close to Rapid City and welcomes more than 900,000 visitors each year. It was established as a national monument in 1939 and was known as a US national park in 1978. It occupies 242,756 acres of South Dakota and preserves the wilderness area, which is about 64144 acres.
The wilderness area became the settlement of an endangered mammal, the black-footed ferret. The park was the hunting ground of native Americans, including Paleo Indians and the Arikara people; their children live in North Dakota. The oral stories and the Archaeological dutchman’s prove that they live in the valleys due to the freshwater resources. Finding fossilized bones shells of different extinct animals shows that the site was underwater once upon a time.
The park comes under protection to preserve educational and natural resources so that future generations use the legacy of their ancestors. Unfortunately, drilling gas and oil impacted the nature of Badlands National Park, and a significant number of fossils were lost. These criminal activities negatively affect wildlife and ecosystems. Scientists try to keep the park less touched and untransformed. The natural attraction of our planet belongs to the future people too, and we must convey it less damage.
Activities, Services, Parking, and Things to Do
The Mount Rushmore state waits for anybody who looks for new attractions and experiences. One of the popular things to do in Pierre is exploring Badlands National Park. When you step inside this stunning park, cute animals like coyotes, mule deer, swift fox, bighorn sheep, or porcupine welcome you. This wonderful place is the heaven of animal lovers who like to complete their information about animals’ behavior. If you decide to stay in the realm of buttes, Sage Creek Campground and Cedar Pass are yours.
These places offer various accommodations ranging from complete services dining areas to modern and cozy cabins. You can bring your necessary types of equipment for overnight camping and join the party of the moon and little stars. The Ben Reifel Visitor Center presents museum exhibits and offers practical information about the history and geology of Badlands National Park. Visiting the bookstore has nothing short of exploring the area. You can use the parking spots near the visitor center and make yourself ready for discovery. The park is made of two sections: The North Unit and The South Unit. Sage Creek Wilderness Drive and Badlands Loop Road are two spots you can find in the North unit. The Stronghold Unit, another name of The South Unit used by native Americans for hunting. Forget about hiking in this part of Badlands National Park due to the exploded bombs of the Second World War.
Did you know that Dances with Wolves was filmed in Badlands National Park? If you think carefully, you can remember the episodes of Armageddon too. Drive Badlands Loop Road is highly suggested. This paved road guides you to the most spectacular parts of the American national park, such as Pinnacle Overlook, Yellow Hills of the Badlands, and Yellow Mounds Overlook. The Panorama Point is a fantastic viewpoint that attracts photographs. The gorgeous spot is breathtaking at sunset, and many lovers join it to take pleasure from its peaceful atmosphere. Never miss this place. Take care not to give way under your feet because of the fragile cliffs in White River Valley Overlook.
This overlook offers better views of badlands and a short walk to navigate toward unexampled spots. The sunrise in the Badlands is a magical painting that is dedicated by nature to early risers. Badlands National Park is among the rare parks that allow visitors to come upon the wilderness at their speed. Hiking in the Deer Haven Wilderness and Sage Creek Wilderness brings you in touch with adorable bison and pronghorn. These places are excellent destinations to escape the crowd and modern life. To discover remote parts of the National Woods, you must join Sheep Mountain Road. This gravel road takes you to the Badlands scenery and spectacular overlooks.
Visiting the Ben Reifel Visitor Center, which keeps its doors open year-round, could be an exciting experience. The place has something for visitors of all ages. By camping here, you can take part in a working fossil lab or visit the exhibits. Among admirable characteristics of the park, horseback riding and viewing glorious badlands is another chance for more pleasure. An area of 64000 acres belongs to you; uncover it from your saddle.
Badlands National Park Lodging
Lodging accommodations in and next to the American Park are seasonal and limited, so you must reserve them early. Older than Badlands National Park and opened in 1928, Cedar Pass Lodge. These cozy cabins are excellent places for relaxing and stargazing during clear nights. Cabins are equipped with a heater, air conditioner, and mini-refrigerator. The fee for resting in this comfortable place starts at $182 per night. The Badland Inn includes 20 non-smoking rooms and welcomes its guests from May through October. The pet-friendly accommodation is a few minutes from the Ben Reifel Visitor Center.
If watching Sky nights and the silver moon is your favorite thing to do, this spot offers scenic views. The convenient rooms feature a heater and air conditioner. You can go to the gift shop and find beautiful handcrafted gifts for your beloved. Best Western Plains Motel is another lodging accommodation with 74 guestrooms, seasonal outdoor pools, and a fitness center. The motel provides pet-friendly rooms equipped with TV and internet access. Pay $95 and enjoy staying in this relaxing place.
Badlands National Park Camping
The national park service operates two significant campgrounds, including Sage Creek Campgrounds and Cedar Pass Campgrounds. They have many amenities and offer great views of the nearby attractions. Campers have access to potable water and picnic tables. Flushing toilets are available within the campsites. The next spot for camping is Badlands Interior Motel and Campground, a convenient place for camping. You have access to the swimming pool, restaurant, and shops. It offers expansive spectacles of the beautiful horizon. Badlands/White River KOA is loaded with shaded spots for camping. You can camp here and go through the rugged Badlands. This part of the park invites you to jump in the pool during hot days. Convenience stores, laundry services, and restrooms are available in the area.
The Best Restaurants Near Badlands
Badlands Saloon and Grille
Discovering a new place like Badlands National Park demands to be fed in the best nearby restaurants. Badlands Saloon and Grille is among the excellent sites that welcome you with tasty dishes. This surprising dining area features free off-street parking, takeout, outdoor seating, free Wi-Fi, and table service. The family-style restaurant presents unforgettable pizza in a friendly environment. Testing the chicken sandwich is highly recommended.
Cedar Pass Lodge Restaurant
If you have tasted Indian tacos and wish to refresh your old memories, Cedar Pass Lodge Restaurant is yours. Help yourself and make your trip to the astonishing American park memorable. Guests who are on a vegan diet are highly respected, and vegan options are offered kindly. Tender meat and fry bread are the number one suggestions for meat lovers. People with disabilities are guided toward a special place.
Some of the Cowboy Corner guests prefer to have their meal away from the crowd due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you are in the same boat, there is a piece of good news for you; the restaurant offers takeout services. Cowboy Corner is located on your way to the lovely park. If you are looking for a new taste in South Dakota, do not miss the mashed potatoes with a tasty sauce. The restaurant invites you to have tender steaks.
Have you ever seen Mexico city or tasted the magical taste of Mexican food? If your answer is negative, do not close your eyes to Amigo’s Cantina. The restaurant accepts credit cards for your comfort. Don’t worry about parking your vehicle in a safe place because there are many parking spots. The chicken quesadillas, nachos, and ground beef enchiladas are among the tasty options worth a try. The restaurant is open from 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM.
Exploring the park by bicycle and at your pace makes you tired of needing high-quality meals in a clean restaurant. Horseshoe Grill is a place that you can trust and order unexampled dishes. The on-point services and friendly staff along with delicious food add to the popularity of this place. The wheelchair is accessible in this dining area to create better moments for park adventurers.
The Best Hotels Near Badlands
One Star Hotel- Budget Host Sundowner
The hotel is situated in Kadoka and provides 40 well-kept rooms. Telephone, wake-up service, and air conditioner are the amenities of non-smoking rooms. The hotel could be a good choice for guests looking for a budget-friendly place next to the park. The hotel is children-friendly too, and your little ones can enjoy playing with pieces of equipment.
Two Star Hotel- Americas Best Value Inn
Are you searching for a clean and safe hotel to stay in during your journey in Badlands National Park? The hotel is situated in Kadoka and includes spacious non-smoking rooms. The guest rooms are fixed up with high-speed internet access, wake-up service, and cable television. A fresh complimentary breakfast is offered by the hotel.
Two Star Hotel- Econo Lodge Wall
Finding a two-star budget-friendly hotel next to Badlands National Park is not tricky; Econo Lodge Wall welcomes you and your family. The relaxing guest rooms offer a microwave, flat-screen tv, refrigerator, and air conditioner. The hotel provides easy access to a military museum, Delta-09 Missile Silo. The staff will make your trip to South Dakota pleasurable.
Two Star Hotel- H and H El Centro Motel
Twenty miles from Badlands National Park is H and H El Centro Motel. The non-smoking rooms and family rooms of this two-star hotel make your stay comfortable. Free parking is offered for guests. The free high-speed internet connects you worldwide. The pet-friendly hotel includes a business center with internet access so you can come in touch with your allies not present at the business conference.
Badlands National Park Weather
This wonderful attraction in South Dakota brings many tourists in a year. Let’s say that The best time to visit this part of South Dakota is from August to September because children go back to school and you see few crowds. Although the spring temperature is pleasant, wait for hail and rainstorms, so do not forget your rain gear. The dry and hot summer may accompany a sudden thunderstorm. Due to the unpredictable weather of the park bringing suitable shoes and clothing is necessary. During freezing winter, snowfall is common and visiting the park demands to be dressed in layers. Before joining the park, search for their weather forecast.
Badlands National Park Tours
The histrionic pinnacles of this magnificent park display a tangible contrast to the nearby spots. The unique condition of Badlands National Park tempts many people to discover it by a professional tour guide. 7 Hours Discovery in Private Group Badlands Tour starts from $999 per group made of six persons. You will learn about the badlands’ history and acquire a chance for photography. Your tour includes a picnic lunch in the kingdom of buttes. Private Tour of the Badlands is another option; taking part in the tour costs $325; however, the price changes by group size. These 8 hours uncovering the badlands’ secret will be a memorable experience. If you are 3 generation family, do not miss the chance of visiting the park on a tour that fits your condition. There are other tours, and you may select one according to your unique needs.