Badlands National Park is an extraordinary environment. On our recent trip we stayed in the park for three nights. I really wish we could have stayed longer!
Badlands is a unique National Park in that it has an open hike policy. This is awesome! Venturing off-trail is allowed in order to keep an eye out for fossils!
A great place to take advantage of this policy is my Badlands National Park must-see, the Door Trail.
The first part of the Badlands Door Trail is a 1/4 mile boardwalk which traverses flat grasslands. The real fun begins where the boardwalk ends, at the Door.
The Door is a short set of stairs leading down to the rugged Badlands terrain where you can just explore til your heart’s content.
The area includes some trail markers which you can follow, but honestly, I didn’t want to. I loved just walking up, down, and around formations. Just be mindful that the surface is uneven and there are some drop-offs!
If you’ve been to many national parks, you will likely appreciate how rare it is to have the freedom to wander off trail. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy this unique experience. And, who knows? You might even uncover the next saber-tooth tiger!
For more information and trip tips on South Dakota, check out the following: