Camping in Badlands National Park is among the best campgrounds in the country. With its beauty, camping in this national park is worth its weight in gold under the starry night sky. Or should we say fossils?
Did you know Badlands has one of the most impressive natural fossil beds in the world? Read on to learn more about the Badlands, including a brief history, activities, and camping options.
About Badlands National Park
With only around 1 million visitors a year, Badlands National Park is one of the most underrated parks in the US national park system.
In comparison, the most-visited national park, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, sees around 14 million visitors each year, according to More Than Just Parks. While fewer people visit the Badlands, there is still the same beauty, history, and things to do.
It is just 75 miles east of Rapid City in the southwest corner of South Dakota. The area now designated as Badlands National Park was first recognized as a national monument in 1939. In 1978 it became a national park.
This national park is a 244,000-acre paradise where travelers can find themselves in a world of adventure. The badlands are geologically derived from sedimentary rocks from the remnants of ancient riverbeds and volcanic ash.
It features an extensive mixed grass prairie with many spectacular geological formations. In addition to the wide skies and breathtaking vistas, Badlands National Park is also home to an abundance of fossils. These include marine reptiles and carnivores with a fossil record dating back 75 million years.
Tons of activities
Visitors can experience cultural, historical, and outdoor adventures across the country and at educational centers.
There are three main scenic routes to explore the country’s beauty from the comfort of your vehicle.
If you’re more of a hiker, there are eight official trails in the park ranging from less than a mile to 10 miles. Looking for more adventure than just staying on a trail? Badlands has an open hiking policy, which means you can hike off-trail anywhere in the park.
And when you’re done hiking, driving, and horseback riding in the park, you might want to stay and do it all over again. With two foreshore campgrounds with amenities, backcountry pitches and boondocking facilities, spending more than a day here is highly recommended.
About Camping in Badlands National Park
Camping in Badlands National Park can be as primitive or as civilized as you would like it to be. It has two official campsites.
One allows RVs with available power hookups. The other allows for tents and small rigs without connectors. You can camp comfortably in the foreland.
Front and backcountry camping offers access to the wonders of the prairie. There are unique geological formations that define Badlands National Park.