Hiking in the Badlands National Park
Hiking is always fun and the Badlands offers a great place to hike. There are plenty of places and things to climb if you like heights. The park offers many well marked and maintained trails to hike or you can choose to go off to make your own path. When entering the park from the north entrance you will come across several of them right away. We chose to take the pathways that were marked. As we followed the paths deep into the lunar-like landscape we played ‘Where’s Waldo’ with Chayton.
The park statistics show that dehydration is the number one medical problem reported; people underestimate the arid climate and don’t take enough water with them. Be sure to carry plenty of water with you, as temperatures can reach 120F in the summer! I would also advise a hat or head covering of some kind. Proper hiking footwear will help you avoid the second most reported ailment -ankle injury.
There is ample parking for passenger vehicles as well as large Motorhomes and other RV’s near the trailheads. If you stop at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center the rangers there can offer you good advice on any of the trails. While you’re there check out the many exhibits, junior ranger programs, and many other fun and educational programs available for your enjoyment. So if you are in the area, be sure to plan for lots of fun hiking. There is much more about this South Dakota desert area coming soon. Stay tuned!