Looking for a great trail in Badlands National Park, South Dakota? AllTrails has 9 great hiking trails, dogs no trails, walking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 5 moderate trails in Badlands National Park ranging from 0.7 to 14.6 miles and from 2,411 to 3,270 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

no dogs

walking

kid friendly

views

wild flowers

nature trips

wildlife

Badlands National Park in South Dakota are a visually fascinating and unique series of buttes and spires scattered throughout a sparse prairie. It has the world's richest fossil beds from the Oligocene epoch.

on Notch Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked on 1/20, a 20F morning. Saw three mule deers at the beginning or the trail. Super cute. The trail is pretty snowy, but can still be recognized. The view of badlands in snow was stunning; glad we had the microspike so we could enjoy the view without worrying to slip.

hiking
1 month ago

Date: Jan 3, 2019
Cost: $ subject to NPS Parks Pass
Conditions: Partly cloudy, calm, Mid 30s

Pros: Gorgeous in winter. The ladder in the middle is neat and adds a fun element to this hike. Great expansive view at end of the park, nice spot to watch sunset.

My experience: 1.7 miles round trip. Briefly lost trail at one point. Ladder slippery in winter. I had more trouble going down than up. No problem entering park during Government Shut Down - roads were clear and gates were open. Leave no trace!!!

Cons: Sturdy footwear recommended. Use duck-type boots if wet/winter/muddy. Ladder is quite steep at the top and can be unnerving for some. I imagine the ladder could be congested at busy times. I briefly got off course and only knew it due to my AllTrails app.

IG: Minnesota_Wanderer

I got an all-time favorite photo here. we loved it. The ladder is intimidating but very secure. great view at the end.

rock climbing
2 months ago

loved it! nice scramble but ify with snow/ice and mud... would recommend another person to go with or better weather

hiking
2 months ago

not bad but I want from Notch Trail trail head towards Old Ne. I wish I had time to go furthee

Couldn’t finish. I had decent hiking sandals on, but they were no match for the loose terrain. I perched myself as high as I could get on the trail and took in the amazing views.

hiking
2 months ago

badlands very neat place in this world...

very neat
I freaking loved it here

3 months ago

Fun fast hike with a beautiful view and a neat little ladder ❤️

Great contrast between (down the hike) the Badlands and (up the hike) the Grassland.

We had a hike with beautiful weather and a nice breeze of wind. Perfectly doable with almost no traffic on the way.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail is probably amazing, but inaccessible after heavy rain! Fell a few times due to mud, so just be aware that if it is super muddy, you probably won't be able to hike it :( Will go back to see it when it is not muddy! :)

on Notch Trail

4 months ago

The view was beautiful. This national park just doesn’t rock my world so probably wouldn’t do it again.

hiking
4 months ago

My favorite hike in the Badlands. Great view from the top and a challenging ascent.

hiking
4 months ago

Pretty. You can do some free climbing on the nearby wall which is quite fun and highly recommended.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful. My second favorite hike in Badlands behind saddle pass. Be sure to hike to both vistas. Towards the end the trail forks and both are worth exploring.

hiking
4 months ago

Great views, fun terrain to hike.

4 months ago

Very unique trail. We went out after a rain and it was extremely slick. But once we got back to the start it was dry. Rain makes for a very different trail experience. The trail crossed in front of big horned sheep that were grazing on a cliff . We did the medicine loop out and the castle trail back. This clocked in at 11.1 miles. Definitely do this early as there is very little shade and you are in full sun and wind exposure. Other than the slipperyness because of the rain it’s not hard or technical - the only hard part about it is 11 miles round-trip.

the top half was real grasslandy and windy and the bottom half was extremely badlandy

excellent contrast

loved the heck outta this trail, though it was chilly and rainy when i did it

4 months ago

Very cool we loved it! A bit crowded because it's so popular but a must in the area I think.

hiking
4 months ago

Short but lovely.

Easy trail with beautiful views, especially in the evening.

Nice level hike on the prairie (once the ascent up Saddle Pass is completed) with great views of the Badlands

hiking
4 months ago

Short but challenging trail, especially when muddy, as it had rained the day before. Great view at the top and good way to access Medicine Root Trail.

walking
4 months ago

Nice benches with a cool view. Not that different from the other short hike/walk options.

hiking
4 months ago

Great views, but felt a bit redundant along the way. Perfect way to see what the badlands has to offer. Don’t let the distance scare you off as this a very manageable hike if you are game for it.

walking
4 months ago

Good walk. Nice view.

We went on a day that it had been raining and the saddle pass which this has you enter on was wayyyyy too slick to climb. We and another hike ended up turning back early on. If you do this loop off the castle trail it is very worth it.

short boardwalk to cool views of the Badlands with the option of continuing through the rugged gullies. you truly feel like you are on another planet while exploring the terrain up close.

hiking
4 months ago

the ladder was intimidating at first, but it isn't as bad as it may seem. the trail up top is eroding due to rains making the traverse a bit sketchy, poles would have been helpful, but it's doable without. part of the trail is being rerouted because of this. the views are absolutely amazing. bring water, it was just under 70° and breezy when I did the trail, but you are in constant, direct sun exposure the entire hike.

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