Hike the Badlands' Notch Trail

South Dakota Notch Trail

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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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How to Get There

about 2 months ago

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.

about 2 months ago

3 months ago

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.

3 months ago

8 months ago

Unique and Fun

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!

8 months ago

9 months ago

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.

9 months ago

over 1 year ago

Fun Trail

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.

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

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!

over 1 year ago

Activities:

Photography, Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Rating:

Features:

Scenic

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