Explore the most popular kid friendly trails in Badlands National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

ok for kids

5 days ago

Great trail for my kids and I to do!!!
We all loved it!!

hiking
7 days ago

This is a great hike. Don't let the ladder intimidate you. We noticed numerous hikers simply turn around once they saw the ladder. if you do, you'll miss out on a great view. Some boulders to scramble. The trails is well marked, black posts as you go along. Pay attention to the signage if you have kids with you, they can fall in a few areas. As you get to the notch be prepared for the wind, it really comes through there. You'll be looking down on the Badlands and it's very pretty. Our five year old was able to handle the ladder, just took a little time with him. Hope you enjoy it!

hiking
7 days ago

Very straight forward trail that is short and sweet. Boardwalk that leads to a nice overlook of the Badlands area. No elevation change and a place to sit down at the overlook. Good for all ages. Grea view at the overlook. From this parking area you can access the Door, Window, Castle and Notch trails. If you are looking for a challenging trail this is not it. Simple walk out and back to an overlook.

hiking
7 days ago

Trail starts out as a boardwalk, but then you come to a set of stairs and before you know it you're walking out into the Badlands themselves. There are numbered yellow posts to follow out into the area and the end of the trail is marked with a sign. Beautiful trail if you like the Badlands setting. Our 5 year old was with us and he loved this trail. Many people stop their trek at the stairs so if you continue you'll find the crowd disappears as you move out into the Badlands. Just watch your step as you walk out into the Badlands and you'll be fine on this one. Fun for all ages.

8 days ago

Fun trail little trail, probable got through it in about an hour. Little crowded today, but once we got out on the trail it wasn't bad. Saw two big horn sheep, that made it worth it.

This is like a perfect family hike and a great intro to the Badlands scenery. Kids can do it, there's some elevation but it's not strenuous, and the views are great.

Super short and simple. Quick boardwalk to an interesting canyon view. Anyone can do this and it doesn't take much time.

hiking
14 days ago

This trail is like a metaphor for life. Mostly you just walk along, but occasionally the magical and unexpected appears just around the corner. It's worth it.

hiking
14 days ago

Very easy trail on the boardwalk. The magic is in what comes after you leave the boardwalk - free exploration in, on, and among the Badlands formations! It's a kid's and climber's dream!

Pleasant, easy walk to say the least. It was 75 and sunny when I went, day after rain so wear waterproof hikers because the path can sometimes get flooded/muddy. Varied terrain, heard many rattlesnakes so stay on the path! Beautiful vista of both the rock formations and plains.

hiking
19 days ago

Very easy hike. lots of opportunities to wander around and explore.

hiking
19 days ago

Ladder was the only fun part. rest of the hike was very similar to other hikes in the area.

hiking
21 days ago

Short hike along a wash (theoretically there is a waterfall...but there’s gotta be a lot more water...and we are here 12 hours after a huge storm) and up a log ladder to a cliff. Nice views, interesting rocks. Ladder is fairly steep and rocky terrain makes this not an easy trail.

hiking
25 days ago

A short trail on a boardwalk that gives you the opportunity to look at fossil replicas and learn about them. Very informative on the formation of the park and information about the layering and time periods. Worth the time if you enjoy learning about the landscape and geology of an area.

hiking
25 days ago

Can be a little slippery when raining or misty, but great views of the canyons and formations. Easy to find your way from blaze to blaze, but gives you the freedom to roam and view what you want!

hiking
1 month ago

Would be a 3 star, but you can do some exploring in the canyon area in the 2nd half of the hike which bumps it up to a 4. Good view at the end, but not too different from what you can see at the viewpoint at the much shorter Cliff Shelf trail nearby. Cool landscape all around of course.

Log ladder is fun. Much slower going down than up. Could slow you down if you're trying to go up while another group is going down or vice versa as there's really only room for traffic to be going in one direction at a time.

Trail is listed as moderately strenuous but I would say it is easy, with the ladder being the only slightly challenging portion.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice family friendly hike with a good view at the end. Take water!

hiking
1 month ago

Packs in a lot of scenery for such a short hike!

2 months ago

Short but fun. Log ladder is more memorable than the view at the top.

Lots of fun when we were there in June. A very easy flat hike with fun blazes to follow since a distinct trial isn’t cut into the ground.

Very nice flat trail out onto the upper table of the badlands and back. Tons of fun foliage and lots of tracks from sheep and other wildlife. We were there in early June so it was exceptionally sunny and hot. Definitely pack extra sunscreen and water for this trail during the warm part of the year.

5 months ago

Fun hike. My son enjoyed “trailblazing” from one post to the next (single digit temps with wind and snow flurries). Great views.

hiking
5 months ago

Took my son on this hike yesterday. Fun winter hike. Even with the single digit temps, blustery winds, and snow, the trail was nice. Ridge line was a little tenuous in spots due to the snow, but very manageable.

hiking
5 months ago

Best to do early in the day before it's too hot or crowded. Ladder is interesting (coming down is more difficult than going up). Views are gorgeous.

hiking
7 months ago

Very easy trail. Great replicas of fossils found in this national park and it's history reading.

hiking
7 months ago

Probably one of my favorite trails in Badlands. It's not too difficult except the beginning. For those who are terrified of heights, be warned! There is a wooden ladder you have to go up on to finish this trail. Not too far from the beginning of the trail. It's worth it and overall a great view of rocks, wildlife, and structure. Great overlook as well

hiking
7 months ago

This trail is short and simple. Anyone can do it. Wouldn't really do it again because nothing too impressive compared to the other trails

hiking
7 months ago

Tough get go but, beautiful hike and saw big horned sheep! You have to hike this trail.

Great information and reference about the rock layers and fossils. Short but very informative

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