Deer Haven

Badlands National Park

Badlands, South Dakota

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Deer Haven


  • Badlands National Park.- Deer Haven
  • This is the game trail to follow out to Deer Haven.- Deer Haven
  • A nice view after turning one of the many curves in the path.- Deer Haven
  • The landscape is flat aside from the sheer walls of the formations.- Deer Haven
  • A picture from around the last bend to reach Deer Haven, which is the only wooded area in Badlands.- Deer Haven
  • After turning around from Deer haven the hiker will follow the same trail back to the trailhead.- Deer Haven
  • Exploring the Deer Haven area of Badlands National Park.- Deer Haven
  • A nice view of the landscape from the small game trail that leads to Deer Haven.- Deer Haven
  • Another view of the gorgeous mountains that are surrounding Deer Haven.- Deer Haven
  • To the south just a few hundred meters from the game trail is Buffalo Gap National Grassland.- Deer Haven
  • Exploring the Deer Haven area of Badlands National Park.- Deer Haven
  • Sunset in the badlands just off of the game trail.- Deer Haven
Overview + Weather
Not a crowded or heavily trafficked area, reception is good
No trails to lead where you are going, only use is maps
Badlands, SD
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Highest point: 
2,680.00 ft (816.86 m)
Year round: 
Parking Pass: 
National or state forest pass
Permit required: 
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Total elevation gain: 
150.00 ft (45.72 m)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,660.00 ft (810.77 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


Badlands National Park can be daunting to some because it is one of the national parks that allows visitors to hike wherever they want in the park. There are only a couple of posted and maintained trails in the northeastern portion of the park, but the rest is fair game for backpackers and day hikers alike. The only significant restriction being is that tents must be pitched at least a half mile from any major road. This leaves planning your trip pretty open, and options are plentiful.

Reaching the famed Deer Haven area of the park, the only wooded area in the Badlands, is quite simple from the Conata Picnic Area, which is the best entrance to reach Deer Haven. Enter at the trailhead using either of the entrances around the burm gaurding the south and west edges of the parking area. Then head south to find a large clearing that contains wind-swept grass and a vast openness. A game trail can be found in this clearing, and it is relatively easy to spot from the streak that it leaves in the grass. This game trail winds through beautiful mountain areas and grasslands, and it does not require any climbing until one approaches Deer Haven. The trail is easy to follow and remains conspicous through the entire journey. Deer Haven is a beautifully wooded area that supports plenty of wildlife. Camp where you like and enjoy the views.

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Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

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(5 within a 30 mile radius)

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