One Day In Badlands National Park With A Dog


Badlands National Park is a natural wonder located just outside of Rapid City, South Dakota. When heading there, I was excited because I was finally visiting South Dakota and I love national parks, but I really had no idea what to expect.

It turns out, it’s a unique mix of rocky buttes, spires and grassy fields that are quite pleasant to look at and hop around on. Unfortunately, Badlands National Park doesn’t allow dogs on it’s trails, so we were unable to explore very far beyond the pavement. Luckily, one of Badlands National Park’s highlights is it’s scenic drive.

Note: On our trip we met a lot of dogs on the short trails. People were totally ignoring the signs and not only is that not cool, it makes it harder on those of us who do follow them. Don’t be a dick. Please. 

So, what do you do when you have one day to spend in Badlands National Park with a dog? You sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s very much worth it, and actually parallels route i-80, so it’s a nice detour.

On our drive, we stopped at The Big Badlands Overlook, the Fossil Exhibit Trail, White River Valley Overlook, The Windows and Doors, Panorama Point, Prairie Wind Overlook, Burns Basin Overlook, the Homestead Overlook, the Yellow Mounds Overlook (one of my favorites), the Pinnacles Overlook, and the Sage Creek Basin Overlook. It took us roughly four hours. Had we been so inclined, we could have easily stopped at another half dozen overlooks and had lunch at a picnic area.

Click here for the NPS Badlands National Park Site.


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