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COVID-19 STATUS: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

PARK FULLY OPEN

Face Masks or Coverings Required in Certain Areas Social Distancing Required
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If you believe this information is incorrect or needs updating, please let us know by using the link after clicking this box.

COVID-19 STATUS: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

PARK FULLY OPEN

If you believe this information is incorrect or needs updating, please let us know here.
So what does "Park Fully Open" mean?

According to the U.S. National Park Service, Badlands National Park is currently fully open. This means all operations are back to normal. This can mean there are still restrictions on social distancing, travel and/or masks. Visit the source link below for more detailed information regarding this park's status.

What we know:

The below source link has more information about the status of the park. The National Park Service requires everyone at this park, regardless of vaccination status, to continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces, such as narrow/busy trails, overlooks, visitor center patios, & other congested areas.

Face Masks or Coverings Required in Certain Areas

Badlands National Park is currently requiring masks or face coverings in certain or all areas. Depending on your vaccination status, if you are not fully vaccinated (meaning two weeks after your final vaccination), and according to CDC guidelines, which currently depends on the COVID-19 transmissibility rate in the community in and around the park. Most parks requiring masks indoors have put an alert out (found below in the Alerts section). Please refer to the U.S. National Park Service, the state of South Dakota and the local community for more detailed information.

Social Distancing Required

Badlands National Park is currently requiring everyone to social distance, 6 feet or more, from others. This usually means outside of your immediate group. Some parks may also have size restrictions on gatherings to help assist in social distancing. Please refer to the U.S. National Park Service, the state of South Dakota and the local community for more detailed information.

Last Updated: September 1, 2021
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Park Alerts (3)

***Discover Our Parks, LLC takes no responsability in the accuracy of these alerts, which are taken directly from NPS.gov, and we provide them for informational purposes only. Please refer to NPS.gov for more information.

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About Badlands National Park

The White River Badlands in southwestern South Dakota contain spiritual, historical, geological, and paleontological resources. The scenic landscape of the Badlands has great historical and spiritual significance to the Lakota Sioux. Educational opportunities and scientific research offer visitors insight into the area’s geological and paleontological wonders. The striking geologic formations contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Ancient mammals such as rhinos, horses, and saber-toothed cats once roamed here. The Oglala Sioux Tribe and federal land management agencies protect an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets live today.

Badlands National Park is 70 miles east of Rapid City. The park, established in 1939, totals 242,756 acres. The North Unit includes the 64,250-acre Badlands Wilderness Area. The South Unit is within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and is managed by the National Park Service in cooperation with the Oglala Sioux Tribe under a memorandum of agreement signed in 1976.

In addition to the national park, the White River Badlands includes Buffalo Gap National Grassland, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, private lands, primarily ranches and farms, and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. This region of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires is blended with the largest, protected mixed-grass prairie in the United States. There are two visitor centers in Badlands National Park, one in the North Unit and one in the South Unit. In addition, there are two visitor centers in proximity to Badlands National Park: the National Grasslands Visitor Center in Wall, South Dakota, and the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site Visitor Center just off Interstate 90 at Badlands Exit 131.

Source: Foundation Document Overview – Badlands National Park

| The rugged beauty of the Badlands draws visitors from around the world. These striking geologic deposits contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Ancient horses and rhinos once roamed here. The park’s 244,000 acres protect an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets live today. | Badlands National Park | South Dakota | https://www.nps.gov/badl/index.htm

Fast Facts:

Date the Park was Established:November 10, 1978
Park Area (as of 2019):242,755.94 acres (982.4 km2)
Recreational Visitors (2018 Total):1008942 visitors

Park Weather

The Badlands weather is variable and unpredictable with temperature extremes ranging from 116° F to -40° F. Summers are hot and dry with occasional violent thunderstorms. Hailstorms and occasional tornadoes can descend on the Badlands with sudden fury. Winters are typically cold with 12 to 24 inches of total snowfall.