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Can You See Badlands From I-90

Can You See Badlands From I-90

If you are on the infamous I-90, you must take advantage of all the beautiful sites you admire on the sides of the road. The scenic views and the magnificent terrains make I-90 its unique self. If you are wondering where on I-90 you might get to see the badlands, let us help you!

The Badlands is 60 miles east of Rapid City and 70 miles west of Wall. You can see the Badlands when driving on interstate 90. However, the real experience of the Badlands is when you visit it and enjoy everything it has to offer fully. 

This article talks about the Badlands National Park, its unique features, how to access it, and what to do when you are there. If you are interested, continue reading. 

The Badlands National Park

The Badlands National Park is located in southwestern South Dakota, United States. The park covers over 244,000 acres of land and features unique geological formations, scenic landscapes, and diverse wildlife. 

The park’s most notable features are its striking rock formations, including colorful sedimentary rock layers that have eroded over millions of years to create sharp ridges, deep canyons, and towering spires. 

These formations provide a dramatic backdrop for the park’s diverse flora and fauna. The park contains numerous archaeological sites and other cultural resources, including a visitor center that offers educational exhibits and interpretive programs.

Watch this video for a virtual tour of the park.

BADLANDS National Park 8K (South Dakota)

How Far Away Is Badlands National Park From I-90?

Badlands National Park is located directly off of I-90 in southwestern South Dakota. The park is accessible via Exit 131, which leads to the Pinnacles Entrance on the east side, and Exit 110, which leads to the Northeast Entrance on the park’s north side. 

Depending on your preferred starting point and exit, the distance from your location on I-90 to the Badlands National Park may vary. From I-90, it is approximately 8 miles to the Pinnacles Entrance and 14 miles to the Northeast Entrance.  

Can You See Badlands From I-90?

Yes, you can see the dramatic rock formations of the Badlands from I-90. The highway runs along the park’s northern boundary and provides expansive views of the distinctive landscape. As you drive along the road, you will see rugged canyons, towering spires, and other fascinating geological formations.

If you travel eastbound on I-90, the Badlands are about 60 miles east of Rapid City, SD. If you are traveling westbound on I-90, the Badlands are approximately 70 miles west of Wall, SD. 

Is Badlands National Park Worth Visiting?

The park is a unique, stunning landscape with breathtaking geological formations that glimpse the earth’s ancient history. The colorful layers of sedimentary rock, rugged canyons, and towering spires create a dramatic and awe-inspiring scenery not found anywhere else. We are completely sold and think the Badlands National Park is worth visiting! 

To convince you further, the park is home to diverse wildlife, including bison, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, coyotes, and more. You can also explore the park’s rich human history, with evidence of human habitation dating back over 11,000 years. It does not get better than this!

Things To Do At Badlands National Park

Now let us focus on all the activities you can carry out when visiting the Badlands National Park. This includes scenic drives, hiking, wildlife watching, camping, astronomy, range-led activities, and photography. 

Scenic Drives

You can take a scenic drive on the Badlands Loop Road to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Badlands formations and wildlife. It stretches for 31 miles and passes by several viewpoints, trailheads, and picnic areas.


The park has over 244,000 acres of wilderness to explore. We recommend hiking as one of the best ways to experience unique geological formations, wildlife, and plants. Several hiking trails offer incredible views and unique experiences.

Wildlife Watching

A diverse array of wildlife, including bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, coyotes, and more. You can watch wildlife from their vehicles or on designated trails and overlooks. 


The park has two campgrounds offering scenic and secluded camping opportunities. Cedar Pass Campground is near the Ben Reifel Visitor Center and has 96 campsites. Sage Creek Campground is located on the park’s north side and is more primitive, with no water or RV hookups.


The location of the Badlands National Park allows it to be the best place for stargazing, owing to its remote location and lack of light pollution. The Milky Way and other celestial objects are visible at night. 

Ranger-Led Activities

The park offers a variety of ranger-led activities, including hikes, talks, and educational programs. These activities give visitors a deeper understanding of the park’s geology, wildlife, and cultural resources.

When To Visit The Badlands National Park?

The park is open year-round, except for days when extreme weather conditions are experienced. The best time for visiting depends entirely on your preferences. Some factors that may affect your decision are weather, crowds, wilderness, and the activities you want to partake in. 


Summer months (June to August) are the warmest, with temperatures ranging from 70-90°F. Spring and fall (March to May and September to November) are cooler, with temperatures ranging from 40-70°F. Winter months (December to February) can be very cold, with temperatures ranging from 0-30°F and occasional snow. 

The ideal time to visit, according to the weather conditions, is the spring and fall months.


Summer months are the busiest at the park, with larger crowds and longer wait times at popular attractions. Spring and fall have fewer crowds, making it a good time to visit for a quieter experience. Winter is the least crowded time to see, but some park areas may be closed.


The park is home to numerous wildflowers that bloom in the spring (late April to early June), making it a popular time for nature lovers and photographers. Similarly, some animals, such as bison and bighorn sheep, are more active in the fall and winter when the weather is cooler.


The park is known for the opportunities it provides people to stargaze. The best time to see the Milky Way is in the summer when the sky is clearer. 

We suggest you consider all the factors, depending on which ones are more important to you. 

Final Thoughts

The Badlands is a sight for sore eyes! We suggest everyone take the detour from I-90 to visit the park and participate in some of the activities, even briefly.