Badlands National Park, Loop Road Animal Viewing, South Dakota
At the east end of the Loop Road, Helicopter rides are available for  tour over the Badlands National Park.  
The
larger animals in the park are wild buffalo, prong horn antelope, big horn sheep, mule deer, and white tail deer.  The remoteness of the park in the southwest corner of South Dakota, about 60 miles east of Rapid City and Mount Rushmore, keeps the animals wild. Coyote and Lynx could be spotted along the roadsides in early morning or evening. The loop Road provides some great views of the natural landscape shaped by the elemental forces of wind and water.   An eroded landscape of stratified layers of variously colored deposits spreads over a huge area of grasslands and makes an inspiring sight. From the pullouts on the loop road, you can see the animals graze in the grasslands between the cliffs.
Tent and RV camping are available in the park for $15 per night.  Dump station only for RV.  Dump fee $1.00 for those passing through. Self-pay kiosk, credit card or correct change.  The sites are small sites with no shade.
Drive through the campground, pick an unoccupied site, pay at the kiosk, and clip your receipt to the post.
Private campgrounds are nearby in the town of Interior.
Many wild animals inhabit the park, common sights being the prong horn antelope, the mule deer, and in certain sections of the park, such as the Sage Creek Wilderness, the wild buffalo.  
Buffalo were reintroduced and now number 800 animals. The animal pictured below is a captive animal in a coral about a half way between the park campground and the village of Interior.
From the parks overlooks and viewpoints 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.
Lynx or bobcat work the roadsides for road kill in the early morning.  A large Prairie dog town lies on both sides of the road at about the midpoint of the loop road.
the way west or east on route 90; the park's loop road is an east/west road.  Bikers on the way to the first week in August rally at Sturgis, North Dakota make the park a stop on the way. The Rally draws a reported 700,000 people

Park entrance Fees
$15. vehicle
$10. motorcycle
$7. individual Hiker or biker
Camping $15.
Camping with electrical hookup $28
Hiking is best done on the many trails in the park

Primitive camping (back country) is allowed in the park 1/2 mile from the roads
There are many viewpoints on the paved Loop Road through the park.  Hiking trails depart from some of the viewpoints.  
Badlands National Park  offers a 40 mile scenic Loop Road that is great for animal viewing.  
The Scenic Byway, Route 240,  parallels I-90 about 60 miles east of Rapid City and
Mount Rushmore. The park offers some great views of animals grazing on the open plain below  cliffs that were shaped by wind and water to make stratified layers of   variously colored deposits.  This unique landscape spreads over a huge area of grasslands where herds of wild bison, antelope, and deer graze
Badlands National Park Loop Road offers Animal Viewing.   The loop road parallels I-90 about 60 miles east of Rapid City and Mount Rushmore. The park offers some great views of animals grazing on the open plain below the naturally  eroding cliffs.
Badlands Loop Road Animal Viewing
Badlands Loop Road Animal Viewing
Badlands Loop Road Animal Viewing
Badlands Animal Viewing
This driver had a close up as the deer bounded across the road and onto the hood of his car.
the Prairie Rattlesnake lives in the park but is seldom encountered
How to Reach the Badlands:
  • Air
The nearest large city is Rapid City South Dakota. Air service reaches Rapid City from hubs in Denver and Chicago.
  • Auto
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:
  • Spring
May 40 f at night 65 f days
  • Summer
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.  
  • Fall
September,  40 f at night 65 f days
  • Winter
Cold and winter snows possible October to April  Total snow 2 feet per year.
Badlands Lodging
Badlands Sightseeing
Badlands Camping
Badlands Loop Road
Badlands Rides
Badlands Hiking
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