Camping at Badlands National Park

Camping at Badlands National Park
The Badlands of South Dakota are home to a stunning, desolate landscape that is an American original. Conditions are harsh, and temperatures vary between minus-40 and 110 degrees F. However, the terrain, the brilliant night sky and the lure of fossils and Amerindian history attract many visitors, including intrepid campers.

Hours and Fees

Badlands National Park is open 24 hours a day throughout the year, and even when the visitors centers are closed, fees are still collected by automat machines. Entrance passes are for 7 days, and in 2009 they were $15 for a car, $10 for a motorcycle and $7 for those on bicycles or foot.

Badlands National Park
25216 Ben Reifel Road
P.O. Box 6
Interior, South Dakota 57750
Tel: (605) 433-5361



There are two campgrounds at the park, and both operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations are not recommended, as neither campground is ever filled. Both campgrounds have a maximum limit of a 14-consecutive-day stay. Maximum occupancy of the regular campsites are six people and two vehicles. Cedar Pass Campground is located near the Ben Reifel Visitor Center and has almost 100 sites. The facilities consist of cold running water, toilets and picnic tables. These sites cost $10 per night. There are also four separated group campsites that cost $2.50 per person with a minimum of $25 per night. Advance reservations for these sites is required. The other campground, Sage Creek, is a primitive site. There are pit toilets, but no other facilities, and camping there is free. Finally, backcountry camping is permitted anywhere within 1/2 mile of a trail or road, and no permit is required. However, it is recommended that a camping plan be lodged with the park authorities.


Collection of plants, animals, and fossils in the park is absolutely prohibited, as are open fires and fireworks due to the wildfire hazards. Pets are to be kept on a leash. Snakes are not to be trifled with. Laundry using campsite sinks is banned, and clotheslines are to be taken in before dark.


Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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