Sunday, January 29, 2023

Best Places To Stay In Badlands National Park

Black Hills Executive Lodging Resort

South DAKOTA | Badlands National Park in Winter | Best place to visit in the Dakotas

The Black Hills Executive Lodging Resort features timber and stone two-story lodges with open views of the Badlands. As of 2010, the average unit rental was $375 per night, with a minimum two-night stay routinely required. A mixture of rustic charm and modern amenities create a cozy, family-focused atmosphere, with such amenities as a large-screen satellite TV, desktop computer with wireless Internet, pool table, hot tub, PlayStation 2 gaming system, central air conditioning, fireplace, telephone and a barbecue grill. Lodges range in size from 1,500 to 3,700 square feet, with one to seven private bedrooms.rnrnBlack Hills Executive Lodging Resort rnP.O. Box 425 rnDeadwood, DS 57732 rn 370-3555

Reclusive Desert Bungalow In Terlingua: Terlingua House

This bungalow is a short drive outside of Terlingua perfect if you need to completely disconnect! Everything you need is contained within the house, including a well-stocked kitchen. The outdoor area comes with a fire pit and barbecue spot, where you can enjoy laid back evenings under the Texan sky. With three bedrooms and a private en-suite in the master bedroom, this is perfect for families taking a more adventurous option.

How Much Time Do You Need In The Badlands

With half of a day, you can drive Badlands Loop Road, visit several of the overlooks, and hike a short trail . Ideally, try to catch sunrise or sunset here, because they are magical.

With one day in Badlands National Park, you can do most of what we have on this list. Start on the east side of the park. Watch sunrise from Big Badlands Overlook. Hike the Notch, Door and Window Trails. Then, drive Badlands Loop Road, stopping at the visitor center and overlooks along the way. Walk the Fossil Exhibit Trail and continue west through the park. In the afternoon, drive Sage Creek Rim Road until you get to Sage Creek Wilderness overlook. Return to the Pinnacles Overlook for sunset.

With two days in Badlands National Park, you can do everything on this list. Follow our one day itinerary above, but instead of driving Sage Creek Road, hike part or all of the Castle Trail. On day 2, watch the sunrise from the Pinnacles Overlook. Venture out into the backcountry and hike Sage Creek Wilderness or Deer Haven. Drive Sage Creek Road and then visit Scenic, Sheep Mountain Overlook, and the South Unit of Badlands National Park.

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Travelodge By Wyndham Wall

Address: 211 10th Ave

Pool/beach towelsAir conditioningPhysical distancing rules followedPrivate parkingPrivate check-in/check-outGuest accommodation is disinfected between staysChildren’s playgroundHeated pool

Lakota Lodge is near the center of Kadoka, making it fairly accessible. Some restaurants found nearby where you can grab a quick meal include Sunset Grill, Club 27 and Subway. In each of the rooms, there is air-conditioning, LED TVs with cable channels, and a private bathroom with complimentary toiletries. Other facilities include the on-site coffee shop, and a complimentary tea and a snack bar. Lakota Lodge is a great place to stay, especially if youre on a budget. It may not be luxurious, but the service and attentiveness from the staff more than make up for it.

Econo Lodge Black Hills

Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

Furnished with charming countryside decor and comfortable amenities, Country Inn & Suites is the ideal location for your trip. It is close to Coxs Farm Stand, Jewel Cave, Golden Ticket Rushmore 7, Cheers Lounge and local restaurants. This completely smoke-free hotel features a fitness center, an indoor swimming pool with a 100-foot water slide, hot tubs and free transfer services to and from Rapid City Regional Airport. It also offers a complimentary breakfast as well as a mini-market for all your needs. The hotel room is spacious and comfy, providing a refrigerator, flat-screen TV with premium channels, and a private bathroom with free toiletries.

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Best Time To Visit Badlands National Park

The best time to visit Badlands National Park during the spring and fall months.

Spring is a nice time to visit the park, with cool temperatures and low crowds. As the warmer weather moves in, rain chances increase. June is the wettest month in the park. If you dont mind the chance of rain, May is a beautiful time to visit the park.

In summer, temperatures can soar well past 100°F. Violent thunderstorms with hail can spring up with little warning and tornadoes are a possibility.

The fall months are a spectacular time to visit the Badlands. Temperatures are cool, rainfall is low, and crowds begin to lessen once kids return to school.

Winters are cold and windy. Snowfall is very likely and the Badlands typically get 12 to 24 inches of snow per year.

Recommended Wind Cave Hotels In Hot Springs

Hills Inn at Wind Cave Convenient and classic Wind Cave lodging

Hills Inn in Hot Springs is a convenient and classic place to stay when visiting Wind Cave. From the lodging near Wind Cave it only takes 15 minutes to get to the cave.

And Hills Inn has a charming traditional motel look that its hard not to like. The convenient location and appreciated classic motel style makes Hills Inn one of the best places to stay near Wind Cave National Park.

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Top Experiences In Badlands National Park

Drive Badlands Loop Road. Badlands Loop Road is a 30-mile, paved road that runs through the most scenic part of the park. Located along this road are overlooks, boardwalk trails, and the jumping off points for backcountry hikes into the interior of the Badlands.

Watch the sunrise and/or the sunset. Visiting the overlooks at either sunrise or sunset is one of the best things to do in the Badlands. The warm glow of the sun illuminates the rock formations, turning the park into a kaleidescope of colors.

Hike the Notch Trail. This very short hike is the best in the park. Walk through a scenic canyon, climb up a wooden ladder, and then its a brief walk along a cliff trail to get to an amazing viewpoint of the Badlands.

Hike the Castle Trail.This 5-mile point-to-point trail connects the Fossil Exhibit Trail with the Window and Door Trails. Along the way, you are treated to views across the prairieland, rocky pinnacles, and you might even get to see bighorn sheep or pronghorn.

Hike the Door and Window Trails. These two very short trails sit side-by-side and offer more great views of the badlands.

Fossil Exhibit Trail. This short boardwalk trail takes you past 75 million years of history and the animals that once inhabited this land.

Roberts Prairie Dog Town. Located on Sage Creek Rim Road is Roberts Prairie Dog Town. If you have never seen prairie dogs this is a great place to observe them.

Camping In Badlands National Park

Highlights from Badlands National Park South Dakota – Best Place to Visit in Rapid City, SD

If camping is your quintessential way to stay in a national park, youve got options in Badlands. There are two formal campgrounds, both located in the north unit of the park:

  • Cedar Pass Campground A paid campground near Cedar Pass Lodge , with 96 spots that can be reserved online.
  • Sage Creek Campground A free, first-come, first-reserved campground with 22 spots.

Backcountry camping is also allowed in Badlands National Park, as long as you are greater than a half-mile from any road or trail and your campsite is not visible from any roads or trails. The National Park Service has a backcountry camping resource page if this sounds interesting.

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Dont Forget Travel Insurance For Big Bend National Park

Its good to get lost sometimes, but its also good not to get too lost. There are people that want you home in one piece.

Theres one travel insurance provider The Broke Backpacker trusts for all his wildest shenanigans World Nomads!

And then let the shenanigans begin.

Places To Stay When Visiting Badlands

The north part of the park has the most trails, roads, and amenities. The southern section has a single road and no hiking trails.

Inside the park, the Cedar Pass Lodge is your only option to stay outside of a couple campsites we list below.

Wall, SD is the closest town outside the park at 8 miles away and has a few more options to stay at. Other nearby towns include:

  • Wall, SD
  • Quinn, SD
  • Rockyford, SD is the nearest town to the south entrance at 24 miles away.

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Luxury Hotel In Lajitas: Lajitas Golf Resort

Sometimes you just need a hotel! This four-star resort is the perfect choice for an easy-going getaway close to Big Bend National Park. It has a luxurious pool area with sun loungers and a bar. For this reason, we reckon it is a great choice for couples looking to stray off the beaten path this summer. Its also right next to the golf course.

The Cliff Shelf Nature Trail

Badlands National Park

The Cliff Shelf Nature Trail is located near the base of the final viewpoint from the Notch Trail. This trail offers stunning views along the Wall and up to the Notch. It is 0.5 miles round trip with 300 feet of elevation gain and takes most people about 15 minutes.

Note: We were unable to do this on our visit because of road construction.

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Quirky Camping Experience In Big Bend National Park: The Local Chapter

Big Bend National Park is packed with campsites, but were not here to bore you with the run of the mill tent pitches! Instead, we recommend this epic yurt right in the middle of the desert. The luxurious interiors give you the comforts of home, while the rural location means you get to enjoy the sense of adventure that comes with sleeping outdoors.

Things To See And Do In Terlingua:

  • Here to check out the Rio Grande? Theres only one way to do it with this guided tour of the river by boat! Trips depart from just outside Terlingua.
  • Terlingua Ghost Town is a must-visit. Here you can discover the towns mining history and even speak with some of the locals that still live here.
  • Kosmic Kowgirl has become a symbol of the tourism industry in the area, but its still a must-visit for the best barbecue in Big Bend.
  • Head to Terlingua Springs Market to grab some souvenirs from local traders and even see real-life cowboys ride on by.

There is one item every traveller NEEDS. Some travellers dont even know they need it, but those travellers need it more than anyone.

What is this forgotten essential of the backpacker-life? SPOILERS! Guess youll just have to click the button to find out.

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How Many Days Do You Need In Badlands National Park

On the quickest of visits, you can visit Badlands National Park in half of a day, driving Badlands Loop Road and spending some time at the overlooks.

With one day in Badlands National Park, you have enough time for most of the highlights of the park. Watch sunrise from Big Badlands Overlook. Hike the Notch, Door and Window Trails. Then, drive Badlands Loop Road, stopping at the visitor center and overlooks along the way. Walk the Fossil Exhibit Trail and continue west through the park. In the afternoon, drive Sage Creek Rim Road until you get to Sage Creek Wilderness overlook. Return to the Pinnacles Overlook for sunset.

With two days, you have time to go hiking in the backcountry, hike the Castle Trail, or explore the South Unit of the park.

Drive Badlands Loop Road

Top 8 Things to Do in Badlands National Park! (Vanlife/SUV Camping Adventures)

If you do one thing in Badlands National Park, it should be a drive along Badlands Loop Road .

This road twists and turns along the Wall, a 60-mile stretch of eroded, jagged rocks, that separate the upper and lower prairies.

Badlands Loop Road is a 30-mile, paved road that runs through the most scenic part of the park. Located along this road are overlooks, boardwalk trails, and the jumping off points for backcountry hikes into the interior of the Badlands.

We drove the Badlands Loop Road multiple times and stopped at every single overlook. Here are our seven favorites.

These overlooks are listed in order, starting near Sage Creek Drive and ending at the northeast entrance station.

Pinnacles Overlook

This is one of the most visited overlooks in the park and absolutely worth the visit, at least one time during the day. We were here at sunrise, midday, and sunset and it changes dramatically depending on the lighting. Below I have a photo from each of these different times.

There are several overlooks here as well as the chance to walk a short trail out to another viewpoint.

Pinnacles Overlook at sunrise

Sunset at the Pinnacles overlook

Another sunset photo

Yellow Hills of the Badlands

Yellow Mounds Overlook

This overlook gives you a view of the yellow hills of the Badlands.

Why are the Yellow Mounds yellow? The yellow color comes from fossil soils, called paleosols, that have weathered and changed color when exposed to the sun.

Conata Basin Overlook

Panorama Point

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Places To Stay In Badlands National Park

For the safety and preservation of the grasslands within the park, open fires are not allowed at campsites. Campers will need to bring portable grills or stoves to cook at the campsites.

Cedar Pass Lodge | Website

The only lodge inside the park, Cedar Pass Lodges newer cabins fill up quickly. They are conveniently located near the Ben Reifel Visitor Center with several trailheads nearby.

The cabins accommodate from two to six people, are ADA accessible and include both heat and air conditioning. Pets are not allowed.

Cost: ~$185/night

Cedar Pass Campground | Website

Located very close to Cedar Pass Lodge and the Ben Reifel Visitor Center, Cedar Pass Campground offers 96 sites, some of which offer RV hookups. Two of the RV sites are ADA accessible.

Pro Tip: Reservations for Cedar Pass Campground are made through the Cedar Pass Lodge website.

Cost: $23/night for 2 camper, $38/night for 2 people in an RV

Sage Creek Campground

A curious prairie dog is going to checkout a tent at Sage Creek Campground.

Dont have a reservation or looking to cut costs on your trip? Sage Creeks 22 campsites are free and first come first serve. Located in the west part of the park and accessible only by a dirt road, this campground tends to be less crowded. RVs and other vehicles longer than 18 feet are prohibited so youll find more tent campers than other campgrounds. The campground has pit toilets and trash, but no showers.

Cost: $0

Backcountry Camping

Driving The Badlands Loop Road

The Badlands Loop Road is the main thoroughfare through the North Unit of the park. The loop moniker is a misnomer as it does not loop back on itself. Rather, it runs from east to west following the main erosion shelf. It is an amazing 27-mile journey on a paved road that runs from the Northeast Entrance to the Pinnacles Entrance. The engineers placed the road so that it weaves in and out of the formations. It artfully hugs the flow of the very colorful terrain, climbing up and down several times along its journey from one gate to the other. The Badlands Loop Road is the best way to easily experience the best of Badlands National Park.

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Sunset Is Amazing Too

This is easier for most people, since you dont have to wake up early. Plus, its the perfect way to end your day in the park.

Before our trip to the Badlands, I read that the top sunset spots are Conata Basin, the Pinnacles, and Norbeck Pass.We tried Conata Basin and werent impressed. Pinnacles is great but expect big crowds.

Our favorite sunset spot is Panorama Point. We were the only ones here and the view is incredible.

The best time to photograph the Badlands is during the two hours around sunrise and sunset . The sun is low on the sky, the lighting is soft, and you will not have the harsh contrasts and shadowing that you get midday. The worst time to photograph the Badlands is between 10 am and 2 pm, when shadows on the pinnacles and spires make photography difficult.

About Badlands National Park Hotels

12 Best Things To Do In Badlands National Park, USA

Badlands National Park is often visited by families on a vacation to see the American West, but few opt to stay overnight here, especially when there’s a profusion of accommodations in the Black Hills, situated a mere 50 miles east. As a result, there are few lodging options in and around the park, and if you’re determined to bed down within park boundaries, you have only one choice: Cedar Pass Lodge. Though rustic, it’s comfortable, inexpensive, and has new cabins.

The rustic-but-comfy formula is repeated by the area’s few motels, hotels, and inns. Most are chain hotels in Wall, grouped around the interstate. Whether you stay inside or outside the park, you shouldn’t have to worry about making reservations very far in advance, except during the first full week of August, when the entire region is inundated with more than half a million motorcyclists for the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Rooms for miles around book up more than a year in advance.

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Getting Around Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park sprawls out over more than 240,000 acres. With no shuttle service operating in the park, the best way to get around is by vehicle . Theres plenty of parking and pullouts along the park roads to get out and enjoy the view.

The North Unit and Badlands Wilderness Area are the most visited areas of Badlands National Park. For an interactive version of this map and to see the entire park, .

There are two main roads to navigate inside the park. Badlands Loop Road, also Highway 240, is a paved road that winds from I-90 through the North Unit of the park and back up to I-90. Sage Creek Rim Road, also Highway 590, is a dirt or gravel road that follows the northern edge of the Badlands Wilderness area which is in the western side of the park. The two roads meet just inside the parks Pinnacles Entrance.

Just outside the southern border of the park, Highway 44 runs from the town of Interior to Sage Creek Road . This is an alternative route to get to Sage Creek Campground without driving through the park. Sage Creek Road is mostly dirt or gravel.

South of Highway 44 is the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which is home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe .

Entry Fee: $30 for a private vehicle, check the Badlands NPS website for more info.

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