Badlands National Park in South Dakota, like many national parks, has a main road that crosses the park providing easy access to many of the trails and points of interest. Undoubtedly, most of your time will be spent on the Loop Road. But, there is another less traveled scenic drive, Badlands Sage Creek Rim Road, that’s also worth exploring.
Sage Creek Rim Road is accessible from the west end of the Loop Road. This road is dirt/gravel. Fortunately, the weather was warm and dry, so the road was in good shape. We we had no trouble touring it in our mini van.
The easiest way to access Sage Creek Rim Road from outside the park is to use the Pinnacles Entrance.
It is approximately 13 miles from the gate of Sage Creek Rim Road and the Sage Creek Campground.
There are 3 overlooks offering views of the Badlands Wilderness Area: Hay Butte Overlook, Wilderness Overlook, and Sage Creek Basin Overlook.
Roberts Prairie Dog Town is another stop along Sage Creek Rim Road. I LOVE watching prairie dogs! They pop up and down and run from one hole to the next. Fortunately, Roberts Prairie Dog Town is huge, and we saw lots of activity.
If you want to see wildlife in Badlands National Park, your chances are high on Sage Creek Rim Road.
During our visit, we were able to see more big horn sheep, buffalo, and of course, prairie dogs than we could count!
I hope you have time on your next trip to this national park for a drive on Sage Creek Rim Road. This beautiful and expansive portion of the park provides the opportunity to experience the Badlands from a different perspective. This peaceful drive is sure to be a highlight of your visit.
For more information on the Badlands and nearby sights, check out my the other South Dakota information.
Trip Tip: Cell signal in Badlands National Park is spotty, so I recommend a paper map. For most people, the National Park Map should be sufficient. However, if you want a larger map or plan to explore the dirt roads in the South Unit (make sure it is open), consider picking up the Badlands National Geographic map we used before your trip.