Saddle Pass Trail

MODERATE 58 reviews
#4 of 8 trails in

Saddle Pass Trail is a 0.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Interior, South Dakota and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from April until October.

0.7 miles
216 feet
Out & Back



no dogs

2 days ago

Awesome short trail. Great to get out and make some memories. Lots of cool places to get to off the main trail as well - just watch for rattlesnakes! We didn't see any but there are plenty of signs. Trail was a bit steep and there is loose gravel so it can be a little slick, but I never felt unsafe. Very cool. Would do again.

5 days ago

The trail is short but very steep and slippery, so be careful when hiking. On the top of the trail you can have a different angel to see the badlands along the road. It's beautiful.

8 days ago

Loved this trail! My favorite part was the steep climb as it starts to connect to the castle trail then plateaus out. Really amazing views and I sat there for a few hours just hanging out on the edge where it also forms a 'ravine' but is really more of a sharp drop of loose boulders and rock. Just watch where you place your hands and feet come the summer for rattlesnakes.

18 days ago

Amazing hike with stunning views. This was my favorite hike in the Badlands. Took my family and we all had a blast. My 8 and 10 year old boys loved sliding on the steep trail on the way down. Started the ascent 8:30am and had the trail all to ourselves - def the way to go.

23 days ago

Nice trail. Easy to lose if you’re not paying close attention. Make sure you’ve got good ankle support because it can get slick and steep.

1 month ago

Footing is slick..wear good shoes, beautiful views

2 months ago

Steeper and narrower than I initially thought but certainly doable. Markers were a bit difficult to find given the terrain, but luckily the rock structures create interpretive paths, and there are multiple ways up. View was wonderful, like a lookout.

3 months ago

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

9 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

11 months ago

Short and not well marked but I think that is what makes it fun! Good, grippy hiking shoes are a must!!!! It is steep with slippery dirt. View at the top is worth it and you can hop on another trail from there... Castle Trail I think it was?

11 months ago

The Badlands are absolutely amazing!!! This is a neat short hike. It's steep in sections and with the loose sedimentary rock, it's a little slippery. Suggest wearing good shoes to do it, even though it's a short hike to the top. My 7 year old especially had a fun time finding small fossils in the rocks on the way up!!

Friday, August 11, 2017

I absolutely love the Badlands! And this was a cool hike with an amazing peak to climb overlooking everything.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Pretty amazing for a 1/4 mile trail best sites in the badlands for the shortness of the hike!

Monday, August 07, 2017

This was one of the more difficult hikes for a couple reasons, first of all, very steep in parts, almost crawling on all fours at times. Second, the Trail is not very well marked. Honestly though, these aspects made it a lot of fun. You more or less find your own way up and down this peak. Once you get to the top, you are faced with a 360 degree view of the scenery. Overall, a very enjoyable and recommended hike.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sort of poorly designed trail that goes straight up the Badlands wall; it would be much easier if they made some sort of switchbacks, but maybe that was not an option, who knows.

regardless, a very well worth it trail that allows access to castle and medicine root trails. If you have people that like to climb this is a good spot

Monday, July 24, 2017

Really fun trail. My 11 y/o loved his first "climb". Great views from the top of the butte

Monday, July 24, 2017

Fun short hike uphill. Good grip shoes will help you. Saw sneakers, flip flops and crocs and they were on their a$$es on the way down.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Fun short hike. Wear shoes with good traction. Do able for my 8 year old, but challenging in parts due to limited traction on sandy steep parts. Views from vista points along road are better, but still a fun quick climb.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Amazing views from this trail. As you go up, the views become more and more spectacular. I would rate it as difficult if it were any longer.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Short and strenuous trail. Kids ages 11 and 8 loved it! Most difficult part was climbing in an area where you can't get traction due to sliding rocks and sediment.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Nice view from the top

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

nice loop hike when tied into castle trail.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Really cool short trail. The views coming up are really neat. Unless you're going to continue on the castle trail when you reach the top there isn't really much at the top though. It's an awesome feeling climbing up one of these bizarre formations though.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fun trail with lots of different options and a secret cave. Short and challenging, but definitely a good departure from the other flatter trails in Badlands.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Saddleback Trail is rated Strenuous. Wow. I made it all the way up to the pinnacle and back down again, with some difficulty. My wife turned around once it became nearly vertical. About 2/3 of visitors turn back halfway up this ridiculously steep and slippery trail. Do not attempt without good hiking shoes, water, and other proper hiking gear.
But if you reach the top, the view is wonderful.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fun climb basically straight up this butte. Great fun for my kids to climb and explore!

Monday, September 05, 2016

GREAT hike, but a little too wet to tackle when we were there. It was quite slick coming down but my sons thought it was terrific. We plan to come back next year - fully prepared to continue on on the Medicine Root trail.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Fun climb up and over the buttes. Great views. Can be a bit slippery coming back down, but just take your time and enjoy!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

It is a short hike, but ends with great views from the top. Very slippery in spots due to powdery dirt.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

This is a very cool hike. If you are afraid of heights, this is not for you. Wear good hiking shoes as there is loose dirt all the way up the trail. I saw a lot of folks scooting down the trail on their butts. Once you make it to the top, you can continue on the Medicine Root Loop Trail which is another 4 miles. Take lots of water!

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