South Dakota Visitor's Guide

Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Why It’s Cool: It's a tough climate to trek through, but the scenery is absolutely beautiful. Tall- and short-grass prairies lie between a variety of rock formations. And be on the lookout for fossils: The Badlands have one of the most complete fossil accumulations in North America, providing a glimpse into the area’s ancient ecosystems. The park is also ideal for stargazing and even hosts an astronomy festival in early August.

Where to Camp: There are two campgrounds in the park: Cedar Pass has some amenities (running water, electricity, etc.), whereas Sage Creek is primitive (bison often wander through!) and doesn't have water on-site. Permits are not required for backcountry camping, but you do need to register before heading out.

When It’s Open: Park and campgrounds are open year-round.

Cost: There's a $15 per vehicle entrance fee, which is valid for seven days. Annual and national passes also available. Campsites at Cedar Pass are $13 per night per site and $30 per night per site with electrical hookups. Sage Creek campsites are free. For more information, visit the park's website.

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