Badlands National Park is made up of fascinating and colorful rock formations situated in the heart of grassy prairie land. This rugged wilderness can be dangerous to navigate if you aren’t aware of the safety precautions you should be taking for your visit.
The Badlands are brimming with wildlife and there are no shortage of animal viewing opportunities! However, it’s important to keep a safe distance whenever you encounter any of the park’s animals. Bison are common in the area, so be sure to keep a wide berth when viewing them. Rattlesnakes also pose a significant threat in the Badlands, often hiding in the prairie grasses or under boardwalks and stairs. Be wary of stepping in or putting your hands into areas you can’t see. If you hear the snake’s warning rattle, back away slowly.
Weather conditions in the Badlands are unpredictable and can change rapidly without warning. If there are signs of lightning or flash flooding, seek shelter on higher ground and avoid tall trees and wide open spaces. The terrain at the Badlands is very slippery when wet.
The summer sun in this park is intense, so you’ll need to take the necessary precautions. Bring plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and wear a wide brim hat during your visit.
There is very little cell phone coverage in the park, so be prepared with a physical map and compass. Make sure you familiarize yourself with your route before you head out.
Additionally, be sure to bring the proper hiking gear for your visit to the park and wear closed-toe shoes to avoid unpleasant encounters with cacti, rattlesnakes, prairie dogs, or uneven terrain.