Badlands National Park is situated near Rapid
City, Pennington County in South Dakota in the United States.
Badlands National Park covers an area of 244,000 acres. It is a
natural park that offers eroded landscapes (hillocks, pinnacles and
arrows) and meadows and that is also rich in paleontological places,
since within the park there are numerous fossils from the Oligocene
period (23 to 35 million years before our era) that allow scientists
to study the evolution of certain mammalian species such as horses,
sheep, pigs and rhinos. It is administered by the National Park
Service (NPS), but a particular area (the Stronghold unit) is
administered jointly with a Sioux tribe (Oglala).
Fees and permits
An entry pass good for one year is available for
$30. Otherwise, people who drive a non-commercial vehicle can buy a
7-day pass for $15. Hikers, cyclists and motorcyclists can get a
7-day pass for $10.
Members of the Oglala Sioux tribe can buy
the 7-day pass at half price.
There are several passes for
groups traveling together in a private vehicle or individuals on
foot or on bike. These passes provide free entry at national parks
and national wildlife refuges, and also cover standard amenity fees
at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the
Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. These passes
are valid at all national parks including Badlands National Park:
The $80 Annual Pass (valid for twelve months from date of issue)
can be purchased by anyone. Military personnel can obtain a free
annual pass in person at a federal recreation site by showing a
Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID. U.S. citizens or
permanent residents age 62 or over can obtain a Senior Pass (valid
for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site
for $80, or through the mail for $90; applicants must provide
documentation of citizenship and age. This pass also provides a
fifty percent discount on some park amenities. Seniors can also
obtain a $20 annual pass. U.S. citizens or permanent residents
with permanent disabilities can obtain an Access Pass (valid for the
life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site at no
charge, or through the mail for $10; applicants must provide
documentation of citizenship and permanent disability. This pass
also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities.
Individuals who have volunteered 250 or more hours with federal
agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program can
receive a free Volunteer Pass. 4th graders can receive an Annual
4th Grade Pass that allows free entry for the duration of the 4th
grade school year (September-August) to the bearer and any
accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle.
Registration at the Every Kid in a Park website is required. In
2018 the National Park Service will offer four days on which entry
is free for all national parks: January 15 (Martin Luther King Jr.
Day), April 21 (1st Day of NPS Week), September 22 (National Public
Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day weekend).
History of the Badlands National Park
The area of Badlands
National Park was first protected as a national monument, being
established by the US Congress itself. on January 24, 1939
("Badlands National Monument", with 526 km²). On November 10, 1978,
the Congress redesigned the area and created a new national park.
Geographic location The Badlands National Park is located in
the United States, in the state of South Dakota. Its surface exceeds
980 km². This area is surrounded by the White River to the south,
and by the Cheyenne River to the north. The Custer State Park is
located about fifty kilometers west, as the crow flies.
Geology Badlands National Park is located on an eroded plateau
whose formation dates back to the Upper Cretaceous, (around 75
million years ago). It was formed with essentially sedimentary
deposits (sand, silt, clay) not solidified by foundations. The study
of the different sedimentary layers allows us to describe the
history of this region.