Badlands National Park

Naming the Badlands

The Sioux called this harsh terrain mako sica, literally "land bad." French-Canadian trappers, the first white men to see the area, labeled it les mauvaises terres a traverser, or "bad land to travel ...

Frank Lloyd Wright

"Let sculptors come to the Badlands. Let painters come. But first of all the true architect should come. He who could interpret this vast gift of nature in terms of human habitation so that Americans on their own continent might glimpse a new and higher civilization certainly, and touch ...

In A Nutshell

The stunning panorama of Badlands National Park rests just an hour east of Rapid City on I-90 (exits 110 or 131). This 244,000-acre landscape is both barren and beautiful. Wind and rain erosion have created an eerie moonscape of deep gorges and jagged sawtooth ridges with rock layers painted ...

Badlands National Park

Superintendent Name: 
Dr. Paige Baker
Welcome to Badlands National Park, where the ancient Spirits of the land can still be heard. Since time immemorial, the area that now encompasses Badlands National Park was home to the indigenous residents, the great Sioux Nation. The park contains the world's richest Oligocene epoch fossil beds, dating 37-28 million years old. The evolutionary stories of mammals such as the horse and rhinoceros arise from the 244,000 acres of magnificent buttes, pinnacles, and spires.
Park Acreage: 
Highest Point: 
Red Shirt Table
Highest Point Elevation: 
3345 feet
Visitor Count: 
Visitor Count Year Recorded: 
Has Volunteer Program: 
Has Recycling: 
Has Shuttle System: 
Park Sights: 
Badlands Loop Road; Sage Creek Basin; Roberts Prairie Dog Town
Endangered Species: 
Black-footed Ferret
Entrance Fees: 
Vehicle Pass (valid for 7 days): $10; Individual Pass (valid for 7 days): $7; Motorcycle Pass (valid for 7 days): $10; Badlands National Park Annual Pass (valid for one year after date of purchase): $30
Nearest Major City: 
Rapid City, SD
Gateway Communities: 
Interior, SD; Kadoka, SD; Wall, SD; Scenic, SD; Quinn, SD
Nearby Airports: 
Rapid City, SC (RAP)

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