Hike through the Land of Stone and Light!

Badlands National Park has a variety of hiking trails for guests of all experience levels. All trails are within a few miles of the Ben Reifel Visitor Center.

Hiking Tips and Information:

  • Be Weather Aware - Sun gear and rain gear are recommended as weather conditions can change quickly. Badlands National Park variable temperature extremes can be as high as 116° F and as low as -40° F 
  • Hydration - It is recommended that you carry at least one gallon of water per person, per day
  • Sturdy boots and shoes are recommended to protect yourself from cactus spines and snake bites
  • Always give at least 100 feet of distance from all wildlife
  • All park resources are to remain where they are such as fossils, plants, animals, artifacts and rocks
  • No Pets Allowed
  • Guests must be 3 years old or older to explore the hiking trails

Badlands Hiking Trails

Easy Hikes | Moderate Hikes | Strenuous Hikes

Easy Hikes

Hike Distance Features Notes
Door Trail 0.75-miles roundtrip Walk through the break in the Badlands Wall known as the “Door” for incredible views of the Badlands

Watch for drop offs

Window Trail 0.25-miles roundtrip Venture through the natural window in the Badlands Wall for views of the eroded canyon

Please stay on the trail

Fossil Exhibit Trail 0.25-miles roundtrip Boardwalk trail with access to fossil replicas and exhibits  

Moderate Hikes

Hike Distance Features Notes
Castle Trail 10-miles roundtrip The longest trail in the park passing through many badlands formations  
Cliff Shelf 0.5-miles roundtrip Loop trail through juniper forest along the Badlands Wall. Occasionally, wildlife will roam this trail

About 200ft in elevation gain. Please stay on the trail.

Medicine Root Loop 4-miles roundtrip Explore the mixed grass prairies  

Strenuous Hikes

Hike Distance Features Notes
Notch Trail 1.5-miles roundtrip See the dramatic views of the White River Valley

Not recommended for those who have a fear of heights. The trail is treacherous during or after rainfall.

Saddle Pass 0.25-miles Climb up the Badlands Wall for views over the White River Valley