Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park Scenic Drive - South Dakota

Badlands National Park Scenic Drive – South Dakota

Driving Directions The Trail: After spending a full day at Badlands National Park I wanted to exit the park a different way so I drove the long way out to Wall, South Dakota.  This was a very scenic route which takes you near lots of little pull-outs and overlooks you can see along the way.  In fact, I stopped at just about every one to get out and take pictures. I started before the Ben Reifel Visitor Center and then followed the Badlands Loop Road to the city of Wall.  There are some really neat areas just before the Visitor Center where you can even see a natural window carved by rain, snow and wind. The whole trip was about 23 miles and there were a few rest areas with pit-style restrooms too.  I  have to also mention that I was either stopped or pulled over while I was taking these pictures. Safety ...
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Notch Trail - Badlands National Park

Notch Trail – Badlands National Park

GPS Coordinates: Trailhead: 43.75979, -101.92836 The Notch: 43.75298, -101.92957 Trail Map Driving Directions The Trail: When I stopped at the Visitor Center to get a map and information about Badlands National Park, I spoke with a ranger at the desk about the hikes around the area.  I explained that I only had one day to see Badlands and I wanted to do the most popular things before I went home for the night.  The ranger gave me a handout with 8 hikes on it and said that the most popular hike in the park is the Notch Trail.  I didn't realize at the time but come to find out, I had more than plenty of time to do 5 of the 8 hikes within a few hours (they were all really short except for the Castle Trail and the Medicine Root Loop which are 10 miles and 4 miles respectively). Anyway, ...
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Window Trail - Badlands National Park

Window Trail – Badlands National Park

GPS Coordinates: Window Trailhead: 43.76031, -101.92806 Trail Map Driving Directions The Trail: This very easy trail is only about 1/4 mile round trip.  It is entirely on a wooden boardwalk and ends at a beautiful overlook which is a "window" to the Badlands. Since I was already in the area doing the Door Trail I figured I may as well do the Window trail.  It was a piece of cake and I wasn't surprised to see lots of families with children again on this one. You simply begin at the southern end of the parking lot, get on the boardwalk and head toward the Window! While I was taking pictures I was eavesdropping on some strangers talking about Badlands.  One older couple said they were from Indiana and they were absolutely amazed and dumbfounded at this overlook.  According to them, they had never before seen such a place like this nor ...
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Door Trail - Badlands National Park

Door Trail – Badlands National Park

GPS Coordinates: Trailhead: 43.76355, -101.92669 Trail End: 43.76192, -101.92159 Trail Map Driving Directions The Trail: This short trail is part wooden boardwalk and part dirt/rock trail.  It is very easy and it never really gained in elevation over the entire length of the trail.  You could easily just hike on the wooden boardwalk, through the "door" and then go to the overlook and turn back around.  Or if you wanted to add a little more adventure you could follow the yellow poles all the way out to the better badlands overlook - this is what I did.  You are free to hike around this area where you want but please be careful as there are steep drop offs and sharp rocks. I saw lots of families with little kids running around.  I could hear them yelling and shouting with delight as they climbed up and over all the rock formations exploring ...
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