Badlands Loop Road, Scenic Byway, South Dakota, Route 240, Sightseeing in a National Park With An Eroded Landscape
The Badlands National Park Loop Road is a scenic highway that runs parallel to the main east west interstate, Route I-90. The loop road, located in the southwest corner of South Dakota, with an eastern start about 60 miles east of Rapid City and Mount Rushmore, offers some stunning views of landscapes eroded by natural forces.
Frequent pull-outs and viewing areas along the road offer sightseeing and trailheads of six designated hikes into the landscape. Below the loop road, spreads an eroded landscape of stratified layers of variously colored deposits encompassing a huge area of grasslands, The largest preserved grassland in the US.
- Viewpoints and Parking for Hikes
Enter the loop road from Route 90, the East Coast to West Coast Interstate highway at either the east end where you find helicopter rides or at the west end in the area of the Town of Wall. The east /west loop road is just a small portion of the immense Badlands National Park.
At the east end of the loop road, Badlands National Park offers Tent and RV camping for $15 per night.
The park has an RV Dump station with a fee of $1.00 for those passing through. The park offers self-pay kiosk that accepts credit cards or correct change for the campsite. The sites are small sites with no shade trees. They are suitable for tents or RVs.
Drive through the campground, pick an unoccupied site, pay at the kiosk, and clip your receipt to the post. Private campgrounds with full hookups are nearby in the town of Interior.
Deeper into the park the Sage Creek area offers back country hiking and camping.
- Back Country Camping, Hiking
From the Badlands Loop road you can see the many wild animals that inhabit the park. Common sights will be the prong horn antelope, the mule deer, and in certain sections of the park, the wild buffalo.
Buffalo were reintroduced and now number 800 animals.
The Scenic Byway has park overlooks and viewpoints where you can see wild animals grazing in the flat grassland below. Binoculars help to see them as they keep their distance from the road except in early morning or at dusk when they are more apt to be on the move.
RV vacationers and east west travelers use the Loop Road or Scenic Byway on their way east or west. The Badlands National Park is a convenient stopover on the way west or east on Route 90; the park's loop road is an east/west road. Bikers on the way to the early August rally at Sturgis ND make the park a stop on the way.
The east west loop road runs about 40 miles between the east and west exits on I-90
Badlands Loop Road is a forty mile Scenic Byway that runs parallel to Rout I-90.
The Loop Road, Route 240, runs through the eroded landscape of Badlands National Park and provides viewpoints, overlooks for animal viewing and hiking trails .
The Badlands Scenic Byway, Route 240, offers sightseeing of the eroded landscape that makes up Badlands National Park
240 loop Road Scenic Byway
Loop Road, Scenic Byway
Loop Road, Scenic Byway Camping
The loop road is well surfaced and offers parking for sightseeing and hiking.
Park Entrance Fees
$7. individual Hiker or biker
Camping with electrical hookup $28
How to Reach the Badlands:
The nearest large city is Rapid City South Dakota. Air service reaches Rapid City from hubs in Denver and Chicago.
Rental cars are available at the airport. From Rapid City take scenic Route 44 east to Interior and the National Park campground or take Route route 90 east to Wall and find the Park entrance and loop road.
Best Time To Visit Badlands South Dakota:
May 40 f at night 65 f days
The weather is perfect June, July, August but the mid day temperature can reach over 100f. June is a wet month. July and August can have thunderstorms with hail.
September, 40 f at night 65 f days
Cold and winter snows possible October to April Total snow 2 feet per year.
Badlands Loop Road