Hike the Badlands' Notch Trail
South Dakota › Notch Trail
Added by Spud Groshong
1.5 Mile Out and Back125 foot elevation gainSketchy ledge walkingLadderGorgeous 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.
- Sturdy Boots
- A love for Heights
- Water (its typically hot)
- a camera or phone
- Sunscreen (I got sooooo sunburnt)
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Short & Fun
This trail is short, easy (I was able to manage in Chacos) and just downright fun! Make sure to hike up on the right hand side to get the amazing views of the Badlands. Also, make sure you are following the correct trail! We got lost for a bit, nothing long or bad, just annoying.
The scenery in the badlands is unreal and needs to be experienced at least once. This is a fun and different trail from the rest especially with the "ladder". The only issue I had was that it wasn't much a hike, it was short and didn't have the ending scenery that it potentially could of had.
Is That You?
I have driven through the Badlands but never spent much time exploring there. However, I definitely plan to after reading about this hike! Spud, did you take this photograph? It's a great shot. Thanks for the inspiration!
More Adventures Nearby
Drive the Custer State Park Wildlife Loop
South Dakota / Wildlife Loop Rd
Requires a state park pass to enter Custer State Park. Animals get very close to your car, but please do not touch or feed them.
Camp at Sage Creek Campground
South Dakota / Sage Creek Campground
There are no designated sites in this first come-first serve campground managed by NPS. There are pit toilets available for campers and covered picnic tables. A nearby creek makes for a nice walk.