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Experience 'Good' South Dakota Camping in Badlands National Park

Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park is located in southwest South Dakota protecting 244,000 acres of diverse land, including one of the largest mixed-grass prairie ecosystems in the United States. Badlands National Park also has some of the richest fossil beds, rugged landscapes and a wide variety of plant and animal life. The Park is full of opportunities for adventure and exploration, making it a wonderful South Dakota camping destination.

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The weather of Badlands National Park varies greatly. Extreme highs have reached 116 degrees, while extreme lows have dropped to -40 degrees Fahrenheit! Summers tend to be very hot and dry with the occasional violent thunderstorm. Hailstorms and tornadoes can descend on the park with little warning. Although the summer months are hot and dry, they are also the wettest. June sees the most rain while December and January see the least. Summer temperatures tend to be in the 90’s. Winters are cold with some snow. Temperatures tend to be in the 30’s and 40’s. Spring and fall are milder. High winds are common year round and sudden and dramatic changes in the weather are common, so come prepared for any kind of weather. Badlands National Park is open year round and there is a $15 entrance fee, which is good for seven days. An annual pass for Badlands is $30. An inter-agency annual pass that grants access into most national parks costs $80.

Once you get to Badlands National Park, there is plenty to do and see. Hiking is a great way to get out and see the park. Scrambling over fragile badlands formations, exploring prairies, discovering beautiful desert flowers, catching glimpses of the parks many animals, and even coming across fossilized bones, shells and more is just part of what you’ll experience when exploring the park by foot. Badlands Loop Road is a great way to see the park, including the beautiful and ancient land formations, the prairies, the animals, and more. The Park is also rich with human history and many tribes play an active role in the park still. Four native species have been reintroduced to the park since it was established in 1939, all of which had been wiped out. The black-footed ferret, bighorn sheep, swift fox and bison are now thriving once again. Regardless of what you do once reaching Badlands National Park, it is full of plenty of adventure and is ripe to be explored, making it a great South Dakota camping destination.

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