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Notch Trail

Badlands National Park

Badlands, South Dakota

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Notch Trail

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  • Near the trailhead.- Notch Trail
  • A wooden ladder leading to the top portion of the trail.- Notch Trail
  • View from atop the ladder on the Notch Trail, Badlands National Park.- Notch Trail
  • View from atop the ladder on the Notch Trail, Badlands National Park.- Notch Trail
  • Sprawling views from the Notch Trail in Badlands National Park.- Notch Trail
  • Sprawling views from the Notch Trail in Badlands National Park.- Notch Trail
  • Walking the Notch Trail in Badlands National Park.- Notch Trail
  • The Notch Trail heading back toward the ladder.- Notch Trail
  • Hikers waiting at bottom of the ladder.- Notch Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Unique hike that offers stunning views.
Cons: 
Not ADA-accessible.
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Region:
Badlands, SD
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
100.00 ft (30.48 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.50 mi (2.41 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,653.00 ft (808.63 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

The Notch Trail offers a unique hiking experience in the Badlands National Park. Once you are in Badlands National Park, you'll want to park at the parking lot for the trailhead to the Notch Trail, the Window Trail, and the Door Trail. The hike will start by going through a canyon that appears to be an old riverbed. After approximately a half mile you'll reach a log ladder that climbs up the landscape. This ladder is relatively easy to climb, but coming down might be a little more tricky. Please be patient and let people finish the ladder coming up if you are trying to go down, and vice versa. From here you'll follow a ledge that will bring you into a gulch area that feels like you are on another planet. Shortly after that you will reach the notch, with stunning views of Cedar Pass and the prairie below it. 

This hike is considered moderate to strenuous. This hike is not recommend for anyone with a fear of heights. Children are capable of doing this hike, but please keep an eye on them because there are drop-offs with no railings. Remember to Bring hiking boots, sunscreen, and plenty of water.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Adventures

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

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