Badlands NP Feature Image

7 Epic Reasons You Need to Visit Badlands National Park In South Dakota

The Badlands National Park in South Dakota is a beautiful treasure in the United States. Some of our most beautiful national parks are very quiet, and the Badlands National Park was no exception when I recently visited. Here are 7 epic reasons why you need to visit this national park in beautiful South Dakota. In case you don’t know, this national park is located in the southwestern part of South Dakota and it’s a short drive from Mount Rushmore, an area that people seem to know more about.

Wide Open Skies In Badlands National Park

There are a lot of wide open skies to enjoy in this national park. I recently had a conversation with a 70 year old woman who was traveling solo. We chatted a bit and talked about nature and the sky. She made the comment that she was 70 years old and had seen the Milky Way once in her lifetime. I’m thinking she needs to visit South Dakota and the midwest! The views here during the day and night were spectacular.

Camp at the Badlands/White River KOA for a family, friendly camping experience near the park entrance.

Sara and car in Badlands national park

Wildlife In Badlands National Park

Prairie dogs, bison, and bighorn sheep are a small sampling of what you will have the opportunity to view.

Sheep in Badlands National Park

With fewer park visitors, all guests have the opportunity to be very close to the wildlife. Be smart about viewing wildlife, as the national park is there home. It’s never OK to approach the wildlife. Park regulations require that you keep at least 100 yards away, and anytime an animal reacts to your presence, you are too close.

Photographers Dream

If you love taking photos. the Badlands National Park is for you!

car in Badlands

There is so much beauty around every curve and corner that you will find yourself wondering when you should put your camera down.

Hiking Trails

The hiking trails in Badlands National Park were not crowded. The best advice I can give you is to have a map in your hand and bring water. If there’s one thing I have learned while hiking over the years, it’s the fact that you can never pack in enough water. Stay on the trails, as you never know what may be off the trail. Another thing to remember is that it is never OK to bring a piece of the park home with you.

Sara with rattlesnake sign on trail in Badlands National Park

I would highly recommend stopping at the visitor center to inquire about trail updates and weather conditions before you set foot on a hiking trail in any national park. I found the park employees at Badlands National Park to be very informative and helpful. Many national parks offer fantastic hiking experiences, including Glacier National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Convenient Parking Areas With Views

Badlands National Park offers several convenient parking and pull-out areas along the road that takes you through the park. I would highly suggest stopping at each of them.

parking area in Badlands National Park

It’s impossible to see what each parking area has to offer until you get out of your car and walk out on the sidewalk to see the views that await!

Passing Storms Bring Beauty

On a day that I visited, a storm went through. The views that the sky left were absolutely out of this world. If you see rain on the horizon, do not run out of the park. The views that await, will take your breath away!

After storm in Badlands

An Opportunity To Unplug

Badlands National Park gives you the opportunity to unplug. Doesn’t that sound like a great opportunity? Cell phone service does not work in the majority of Badlands National Park, so why not make the most of it and enjoy nature. I would suggest taking your cell phone with you, as you will have the opportunity for several amazing photos. Make the most of an opportunity to unplug and enjoy the pace that Badlands National Park has to offer.

I loved my visit to the Badlands National Park in South Dakota and cannot wait to return. The beauty that this national park offers is breathtaking and I loved all the wildlife. The American Road Trip is alive and well, and national parks should be on your next route.

Happy Traveling ~ Sara

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A traveler at heart with a passion for travel in the Midwest. SaraB

Read All of Sara's posts and be inspired to travel SaraB

24 thoughts on “7 Epic Reasons You Need to Visit Badlands National Park In South Dakota

  1. Wide open skies are my favorite. Are you planning a visit soon to somewhere with wide open skies?

  2. I love the Badlands! Such a unique landscape and lots of room to spread out. The camping is really good too! Love your photos!

  3. We love the Badlands. There’s a tiny little bar in the village of Interior that serves one of the best burgers ever, too! A great escape.

  4. The Badlands National Park landscape of greenery and the jagged cliffs looks stunning! We would love to drive through the wildlife it would definitely be an amazing experience.

  5. That looks amazing! I do want to see that! The photo of you and the red car is fantastic!

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