Places to Visit: Badlands National Park, South Dakota

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Badlands National Park, South Dakota

As you tour the west on your vacation, be sure to stop at Badlands National Park to visit some of the age-old fossil beds dating back millions of years.

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  • Badlands National Park contains extremely unique landscape
  • Entrance fees for vehicles are $20, hikers or bikers are $10 each and motorcycle riders are $10
  • Hike around on easy trails to view the park up close
  • Only about 7 hours from Cody, Wyoming so you combine vacation destinations


The towering pinnacles and eroded buttes of Badlands National Park attract visitors from all over, with their fascinating colors and shapes. The spires seem to spring from out of nowhere.


Badlands National Park and its Ben Reifel Visitor Center are open all year long, although some of the park facilities close for the winter.


Entrance fees:

  • For private vehicles: $20.
  • Individuals on foot or bicycle: $10 each.
  • Individuals on motorcycle: $10
  • Annual pass: $40 (valid for one year from month of purchase)

(The vehicle passes and those for individuals are good for 7 days.)

Camping fees:

  • Cedar Pass Campground: $22/Tent or $37/RV.
  • Sage Creek Campground: free.


With 244,000 acres of amazing views and a unique landscape, Badlands National Park also offers lots of activities to keep the family busy during their visit.

Interpretive programs cover all sorts of topics, such as the fossils in the park, its geology and information about the prairie lands. If you want to take off on your own, you can take a 30-mile scenic drive around the park.

Hiking is always fun with plenty of short and long trails to tackle. Cliff Shelf Nature Trail loops ½ mile with great views of the White River Valley.

Other activities you can enjoy are biking the paved roads and horseback riding.

Getting Here

To get to Cody, Wyoming from Badlands National Park, you take I-90 towards Rapid City, then take exit 9 and go left on scenic US 14 directly to Cody. It’s a trip of about 461 miles and takes about 7 hours.

Other Badlands National Park, South Dakota Resources

Mammoth Site

Ice Age exhibits including woolly mammoth fossils. Hot Springs, South Dakota.