Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
100.00 ft (30.48 m)
Trail type
1.50 mi (2.41 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Unique hike that offers stunning views.


Not ADA-accessible.

Trailhead Elevation

2,653.00 ft (808.63 m)


Historically significant
Bird watching
Big vistas
Geologically significant



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