Explore the most popular walking 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.

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
2 days ago

A little slippery with the mist/rain, but that made it more fun in my opinion. Only ended up doing about a mile out and a mile back due to time constraints, but would go back and do the whole thing! Great views and amazing landscape everywhere you look.

hiking
2 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
23 days 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
25 days ago

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

Pretty steep and a nice view! Lost the trail while chatting on the way down but you can easily see the parking lot so it’s hard to get lost

hiking
28 days ago

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

1 month ago

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

Easy, flat. You get a good look at some of the formations and Saddle Pass is a great point to stop for some pictures. Trail itself was pretty muddy in spots but nothing treacherous.

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.

4 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
4 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
4 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
6 months ago

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

hiking
6 months ago

I'll try this again. I actually got lost couldn't find the marking. When I did I tried to climb up but realized it's pretty steep and the gravel wasn't too good. I'll try again in the future

hiking
6 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
6 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
6 months ago

Beautiful sunny day to those who persevered the windstorm at the time. Big horned sheep were along the trail on the way back. Flat for nearly the whole stretch. Very enjoyable.

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

7 months ago

The trail is listed as moderate to strenuous, however, the only mildly difficult portion involves climbing a log ladder up at an awkward angle. There are 2 different viewpoints near the end. A great hike if you only have a few hours in the park!

7 months ago

Marvelous trail. Takes a good amount of effort. But worth every step at the end.

7 months ago

Short Trail but great vistas at the end. Lots of roaming available. Impressively quite, even when others are around.

If you do Door then you can miss this one. Similar views. Kids liked running down the boardwalk and balancing their way back.

Easy warm up hike. Some nice views at the end. Easy for kids. We didn't see many people using the whole trail. We had the back 3/4 almost to ourselves.

Loved this trail. I would rate it as easy, even with kiddos. No packs needed. Our two toddlers walked the whole thing easily. 12 posts including end of trail marker. Lets you get a feel for the geography of the park.

walking
7 months ago

If you went to the Visitors Center you can skip this.

hiking
8 months ago

Lots of beautiful views of the Badland formations on a well marked and fairly easy trail. The only thing that makes it difficult is the heat which reached 103 the day we hiked. Saw a couple of mule deer. Overall enjoyable but wouldn't hike the full trail again unless as it gets somewhat monotonous on the way back.

This trail had amazingly beautiful views every way you turned. Seen big horned sheep multiple times.

hiking
8 months ago

This trail had amazingly beautiful views every way you turned. Seen big horned sheep multiple times.

walking
8 months ago

Great views and short walk to get amazing photos.

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