Hike the Badlands' Notch Trail

Notch Trail

1.5 Mile Out and Back. 125 foot elevation gain. Sketchy ledge walking. Ladder. Gorgeous view of at the end.

Notch Trail is on the south end of the Door Trail car park.

The Trail sorta follows a dry river bed but there is also a actual trail you can also follow. It winds through the gulch and about half a mile or so you come to a 50 foot ladder. The ladder is a pretty easy climb up but can be a little more difficult on the way down.

Beyond the ladder is a bit about 50 yards or so the trail gets very close to the edge and those with a fear of heights may be sketched out too much, about 100 feet into this part my brother and i found an older woman tucked into the shade waiting for her friend who had gone on with out her cause she was afraid of falling.

After the cliff part you enter a gulch that feels like you could be on mars. It ends with a views of Cedar Pass and the prairie below

Also right in this part of the park are Door Trail (.75 miles)and Window Trail (.25 miles) both out and back.

Pack List

  • Sturdy Boots
  • A love for Heights
  • Water (its typically hot)
  • a camera or phone
  • Sunscreen (I got sooooo sunburnt)
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Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great hike

Easy hike, not too strenuous, nice view. We did this hike pretty much 10 minutes before the sunset and jogged and speed walked and were able to catch the sunset, and then it was easy enough to make it down in the dusky light.

So Much Reward For So Little Work!

This trail provides breathtaking views for such little work! We loved every minute of it and especially enjoyed the views at the end. The notch ladder is a bit steep (for those afraid of heights). It felt like we were walking on a moonscape. This is not to miss while in the Badlands, and shouldn't be considering how little time it requires.

Nice Easy Hike

It's a quick and easy hike that makes you feel like you're not on this planet. Only "downside" is the views from the cliff lookouts aren't necessarily of the badlands themselves but more so the prairie.


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