Hike the Badlands' Notch Trail

Interior, South Dakota

4.6/5
based on 8 reviews

Description

Added by Spud Groshong

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.

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Features

Photography
Hiking
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Reviews

This was a really cool hike! The ladder is about 50 feet. It was less sketchy going up than coming down! Once you're up, you still have to be mindful of drops and ledges along the trail, so I wouldn't recommend this for young kids.

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.

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.

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.

Makes you feel like you're on another planet! It doesn't take to long so if you're in the park, I recommend it!

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.

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!

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Nearby

Window Trail in Badlands NP

Hike the Castle/Medicine Root Trail in Badlands National Park

Door Trail in Badlands NP

Hike the Cliff Shelf Nature Trail

Drive the Sage Creek Rim Road

Backcountry Camp off the Fossil Trailhead, Badlands NP

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