The Door Trail is a 0.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Interior, South Dakota that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Great trail for the family.
Easy, good way to see the badlands, kids were all worried about rattle snakes because of the warning signs
Loved it. The trek off the board walk isn't too bad. Uneven but not strenuous.
Three different out-and-back trails that are worth a stop. the Notch trail wasn't as hard as the sign makes it out to be.
Great trails for kids who like to explore. The Notch Trail was easier than we thought; hardest part was the ladder for our 5-yr old who does not like going down ladders.
These are separate trails in the Badlands; all three are great experiences! The Notch Trail was my favorite with wildflowers, a fifty-foot ladder, and spectacular views of the valley below. The trail is definitely narrow at some points, running along the cliff and the hike up to the "official" viewpoint is by taking a right at the last marker. We went on and hiked up to a couple more lookouts but the sediment is very loose on the highest one so I had a bad slip and fall in the rocky dirt. (Watch yourself!) Badlands are a beautiful place for hiking!
The Door, Window, and Notch Trails are three short trails that provide scenic views of the South Dakota Badlands. The Door Trail is a 0.75-mile out-and-back, the Window Trail is a 0.25-mile out-and-back, and the Notch Trail is a 1.5-mile out-and-back. The Door and Window Trails are easy hikes. The Notch Trail is moderate with a few difficult areas.
The level Door Trail provides the best bang-for-the-buck in terms of scenery. The trail winds around rock formations and leads to a beautiful valley view. The Window Trail, almost too easy to be called a hike, follows a gentle grade to a similar valley view.
The Notch Trail is a different experience. The Notch trail winds through a gulch for about a quarter mile before it reaches a fifty-foot ladder. The ladder is easy to climb up, but is a little more difficult to climb down. Hikers who have issues with heights may wish to stop and turn around at the ladder because the trail follows a cliff for about fifty yards from the top of the ladder. The trail is wide enough that you can keep several feet between yourself and the edge of the cliff, but the cliff could definitely be too much for those with a fear of heights. This part of the trail should definitely not be attempted when the trail is wet.
After the cliff, the trail continues through the gulch and ends at an overlook with views of Cedar Pass and the lower prairie. The view is nice, but a little underwhelming, considering that Notch is the most difficult of the three trails. The best scenery on the Notch Trail is the gulch itself.