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Door Trail in Badlands NP

Interior, South Dakota

based on 2 reviews



0.86 miles

Route Type



Added by Leigh Hardcastle

Watching the sunrise on the Door Trail allows you to explore the terrain while experiencing the illumination of the Badlands formations.

A perfect intro to the magnificence of Badlands National Park, the Door Trail is located in between the Ben Reifel Visitor Center and the northeast entrance of the park. Other trails that can be accessed at this parking lot are the Door Trail, the Window Trail, the Notch Trail and Castle Trail.

The trail begins on a boardwalk for .1 miles, cutting around the formations and right into the heart of the terrain. Head down a few stairs onto an unmaintained trail and follow the yellow rod trail markers for about .3 miles until you reach the furthest point.

It’s one of the few trails that truly let you feel the full immersion in this incredibly unique environment. It is highly recommended to either watch the sun rise or set over the horizon. The formations will illuminate a bright orange-pink under the glowing sky, allowing the depth of the ridges to carve the landscape.

*CAUTION* Wear sturdy shoes and step with attention as the soft terrain is not perfectly flat and there are drop-offs.

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Door Trail in Badlands NP Reviews

The Badlands offer so many short and unique hikes. This is one of them. You feel like you step thousands of years back into history because there are a number of peaks sticking straight out of the desert, but aren't technically monuments either. Watch out for rattlesnakes.

If you are seeking easy access and a short walk, take the Door Trail. This out-and-back is manageable for all ages and abilities and offers off trail experiences for those prepared and wanting the wild and rugged. The scenic landscape is incomparable.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Hike the Castle/Medicine Root Trail in Badlands National Park

Window Trail in Badlands NP

Hike the Badlands' Notch Trail

Cliff Shelf Nature Trail

Drive the Sage Creek Rim Road

Saddle Pass Trail

Go Great Places in South Dakota

In the Mount Rushmore state, travels to South Dakota are full of one-of-a-kind adventure with wide-open spaces as endless as the horizons. Between legendary landscapes and scenic drives, you can always find space that shifts life into park. When you’re ready, go great places.

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