I’d been looking forward to our get away to South Dakota for some time. We visited in 2015 as a family (and Jesse went back with some friends in 2016 and 2017). We did all the touristy things last time and hoped to get off the beaten path a bit this time.
Last time we spent half a day in the Badlands and it wasn’t nearly enough time to explore. This time we spent about a day and a half which was fantastic, but we left so much of this national park unexplored.
It was a hot one while we were there, 90’s on up to 100, but we were determined to get outside and find some trails. I don’t do well hiking in hot weather so we went earlier in the day (and perhaps should have gotten out even earlier).
Location: Badlands, South Dakota
Trail surface: some boardwalk on Door trail, and a ladder on Notch, but mostly rock.
We started with a geology tour that took us down the boardwalk of Door trail. We wandered out after that on the marked trail weaving on top of the eroded sedimentary rock distinctive of the Badlands. It was only a .8 mile trail so we headed down the road a little to Notch trail which is 1.2 miles.
Notch trail should probably be hiked by those 8 and older just because there is a ladder you need to climb followed by a narrow walking path with cliffs to the side. At the top awaits a beautiful view and most importantly a little breeze. It felt incredibly hot along the trail, but at the top it felt a little more like the 70 something degrees it was.
While these were both short trails, together they made it long enough for me to consider it a hike. Additionally, there were some challenge points, such as not falling off a cliff. We all loved this hike, especially the ladder, but the heat made it a bit miserable at times.