Badlands National Park - Hiking & Backpacking


Badlands National Park (Lakota: 'Makȟóšiča') is a national park in southwestern South Dakota that protects 242,756 acres (379.306 sq mi; 98,240 ha) of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires blended with the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in the United States. The park is managed by the National Park Service. The Badlands Wilderness protects 64,144 acres (100.225 sq mi; 25,958 ha) of the park as a designated wilderness area and is the site of the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret, the most endangered land mammal in North America. The Stronghold Unit is co-managed with the Oglala Lakota tribe and includes sites of 1890s Ghost Dances, a former United States Air Force bomb and gunnery range, and Red Shirt Table, the park's highest point at 3,340 feet (1,020 m). Authorized as Badlands National Monument on March 4, 1929, it was not established until January 25, 1939. It was redesignated a national park on November 10, 1978. Under the Mission 66 plan, the Ben Reifel Visitor Center was constructed for the monument in 1957–58. The park also administers the nearby Minuteman Missile National Historic Site.

Trail name
Awesome destination
Est. time
2 hours 45 minutes
Distance
2.5 km
Main destination
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