Cedar Pass Lodge is located near the Ben Reifel Visitors Center and is open spring, summer and fall. I opted to stay one night at an average Super 8 in Wall and a slightly better Super 8 in Rapid City.
There is a campground near the Ben Reifel Visitors Center in the eastern part of the North Unit and a primitive camping area by Sage Creek in the western part of the North Unit. I have not camped here just wanted to let you know what is available.
Wonderful location, within a short walk of the visitor center. Nice dry, open sites. Only if it's summer, there is no shade. But we were there in October and it was 60's F during the day (15 c) with nights around 38 F(3 c). Thus, days were great, nights were cold. Full service restrooms, okay, water, flush toilets and a break from the wind.
Yeah, wind, more wind, and always wind.
The campground had sun shelters, which can be used as a frame for a tarp for additional shade (in summer) or as a windbreak. Camping fees are $15 per night per campsite and $28 per night for campsites with electrical hook-ups. A dump station is available for a $1.00 per use fee. Cold running water, flush toilets, and covered picnic
Badlands is has only two camping options. Cedar Pass Campground is the least primitive of the two but do not expect a lush camping oasis. I camped here in 1994 but arrived quite late in the evening so basically set up my tent, watched a meteor shower from the inside of my tent and fell asleep to the stars. I packed up pretty early the next day and was off to my next stop. I am not so sure it would be a great spot to camp for more than one night. I did not camp here in 2008 as I was staying with a friend that very evening. I think if we knew just how late we would arrive and that we would nearly get a speeding ticket in the process, we just might have pitched our tent here for the night and just gone early the next morning!
The campground is fairly barren and obviously you can't expect any tree cover. You will be camping in exposed condition so if in a tent, keep an eye on the wind and expect the sun's considerable rays to have detrimental effects if you camp anywhere near the 14 day limit imposed by the park. Thankfully, the park does have covered picnic tables to make your meals more comfortable. Restrooms do feature flush toilets and running cold water. No showers are available in the park unless you are staying at the Cedar Pass Lodge. The fee is $14 per night.
Sage Creek Campground is off Sage Creek Rim Road which is not paved. It is a primitive campground with pit toilets and no running water. You must be self-sufficient to camp here but there is no fee as of 2008.
The only campground in the park, Cedar Pass offers 96 sites for groups of all sizes. The landscape is mostly flat at that point, giving you views of the Badlands on one side and the pairie on the other. The campground has water and restroom facilities, and each site has a sheltered picnic table. No camp fires are allowed in the park. Sites run $10 a night, with a maximum stay of 14 nights at any given site.
The main reason for this trip to South Dakota was to have a look at the Black Hills and also visit Mt. Rushmore National Memorial located there. Based on the comments of some other VTers who had already visited the area, we decided to stay clear of Rapid City and find a motel situated in the mountains themselves. The small 'city' of Hill City (population - 780) fit the bill perfectly - even if it did take us two hours to drive the 180-km (112-miles) to Badlands NP via Interstate 90 on our second full day in the area. On short notice, we planned to be in South Dakota over the Labour Day weekend, so called ahead to be on the safe side, booking three nights at the Best Western Golden Spike for US$101/per night (taxes included).
It turned out to be a nice new looking motel, beautifully located with the Black Hills in the background. In addition to the comfortable room with large-screen TV and air conditioning, they have both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The outdoor pool is very well landscaped, with shubbery, grassy areas and a great place to sit out enjoying the warm evening airs.
The main lobby is large and sells all sorts of trinkets and their attached restaurant was not bad either. We had a couple of evening meals there that did the trick and their breakfast menu was varied enough that we did not bother going anywhere else in the mornings before we headed out on our days adventures.
Cozy, clean, quiet & functional rustic cabin nestled in the Badlands. Although it didn't have phones nor television our cell phones and wireless internet worked. Our cabin was small and our bathroom was the smallest I've ever been in. I'm 5'3, 128 lbs. and I was banging into things.
Location, Location, Location - we were in the heart of the Badlands!
We stayed in the largest cottage at Cedar Pass which sleeps a max of 8 people. It has two bedrooms - one with a queen bed and one with two full beds. Then there is an extra cot and a long sofa for two others to sleep on. Only one bathroom which is a hardship with 8 people though!
Price for the cottage was a little over $100 per night, but spilt between 8 people, that is a steal! Reserve early for the summer months (we reserved 4 months in advance).
There are also smaller cabins for 2 people starting at $55 a night.
Huge kitchen with all utensils, comfy living room (tv didn't get but 1 channel), and AMAZING location right in the middle of the badlands. We moved our dining table out into the back and dined in nature. Gorgeous and highly recommended!
Great place right smack in the midle of the Badlands Loop Road. This was our second time staying at a Forever Resort, and we were not disappointed. The cabins are small but adorable, very cosy. Our cabin had comfortable beds, a small bathroom(no tub) and a great porch for sitting out and staring at the millions of stars that light up the night sky. The location could not be beat. We woke up for sunrise and it was just a short drive up to the big badlands overlook, which is a great spot to see the sun come up.
More to come
resturant with great views and a cute little gift shop....
A very nice KOA with sparkling clean bathrooms, nice layout, and shade trees. Very well run and maintained, and close to Badlands.
There are two campgrounds. Cedar Pass is modern with a $10/night(14 day limit). It is on a first come basis. Sage Creek is a primitive campground that is free but no water. It is also first come basis. You must have permission to take a vehicle to Sage Creek campground.
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