The Door, Window, and Notch Trails

Rapid City, South Dakota 57701

The Door, Window, and Notch Trails

The Door, Window, and Notch Trails Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"We have placed these three short hikes together as they all depart from the same trailhead. On these journeys hikers can view some of the park’s most rugged rock formations.

Throughout the area hikers are treated to vast panoramas of spires, “doors in the walls,” and steep gullies. Because of the interplay of light, the design changes constantly, almost whimsically, creating a photographer’s paradise, especially in the morning and early evening. Nothing here is ever the same."

More The Door, Window, and Notch Trails Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country (Falcon Guides)
Bert & Jane Gildart
View more trails from this guide book
"Easy journeys to view some of the park's most rugged rock formations. At the Fossil Exhibit, Badlands National Park has created replicas of fossils indigenous to the Badlands, and they are exhibited along this trail in glass-covered bins. The trail is wheelchair accessible. If you are here in the summer, attend a talk given by a park naturalist about the fossil history of the park. The Black Hills are a hiker’s delight. Contained in these 6,000 square miles of unglaciated valleys and hills are more than 500 miles of trails that do great things. For one, they take you to splendid fishing. For another, they weave among incredible scenery sculpted by time in accordance with some of the nation’s most provocative geological mandates. What all this results in is variety—something for everyone."

The Door, Window, and Notch Trails Trip Reports

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11/21/2018
Great running trail. Watch for bison
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10/9/2018
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7/5/2018
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7/12/2009
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7/16/2008
A must! Notch feels the most like hiking with a great log ladder climb and some narrow spots along drop-offs. Take the sun screen and water on this one during the summer, it can be a hot one. Window and door trails are more of a easy stroll but do provide great views of some rugged formations. Great photo area and the kids can climb around rather freely here. These three offer something for everyone in one stop.
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8/28/2007
Notch is the best out of all three. To me, it is a must go becuase the view at the end of the trail. Get to the top of the ladder is also fun.
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5/31/2003
I highly recommend this trail to any visitors to the Badlands. This place has some sort of magical hold on me, especially the area around this trail. Come early to beat the crowds; the Badlands are an especially serene and magical place when the sound of the wind and the animals doesn't have to compete with the yelling tourists. There's not much shade (unless you climb down into one of thousands of ravines), so visitors in the summer will want a hat. Kids love this trail, as they have the freedom to run, jump and climb just about everywhere. I love this trail because it never fails to take away any traces of a headache. There are plenty of shorter options available for anyone in a hurry, and I'd recommend it, because seeing the Badlands from here is an entirely different experience than seeing it from the overlooks.
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5/26/2001
This is a short trek on the moderate side as I observed children and beginners make the top. The beauty of this hike is the view from the summit. Once up there explore and walk around. Offers great views of the Badlands. Sunglasses and sun screen a must on a clear day. Spend at least one early morning and late evening in the Badlands as they take on a life of there own during the light changes.
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The Door, Window, and Notch Trails Photos

Trail Information

Rapid City
Nearby City
2.5
Distance
Several options
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
Best spring through fall
Season
Badlands National Park
Local Contacts

Trail Log