Badlands National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Warning Sign
    Warning Sign
    by Basaic
  • Rattlesnake
    Rattlesnake
    by Basaic
  • Rattlesnake warning sign at Pinnacles Overlook
    Rattlesnake warning sign at Pinnacles...
    by Bwana_Brown

Most Recent Warnings and Dangers in Badlands National Park

  • briantravelman's Profile Photo

    Bad Road

    by briantravelman Written Jan 27, 2014
    Thank Goodness We Made It!

    If you're planning to enter the park through Red Shirt, going through the Stronghold section, make sure you have a 4 wheel drive. The road is really bad, and even impassible when wet. It's marked as 2, on the map. The road isn't even dirt, it's gravel. Not the sort of place you should take a compact car, like a Toyota Corolla. The road is only 20 miles, but it took us over an hour to get through. We saw some guy in a truck speeding down it, but we could not. Our car had no traction and kept sliding, and by the time we reached the visitor center, it was covered in dirt, dents, and had a hole in the windshield for where a rock had hit.
    It looked good on the map, but trust me, DO NOT go this way, unless you have a 4 wheel drive. This is NOT a good road.

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    • Road Trip

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  • briantravelman's Profile Photo

    Very, Very, Windy!

    by briantravelman Written Jan 27, 2014
    Windy Campsite
    1 more image

    I swear, this is the windiest place I've ever been. It took us an hour to set up our campsite, because the wind kept blowing our stuff away. We would be laying in our tent, and suddenly it would cave in on us. We mad the mistake of picking a campsite that was really exposed.
    We later went to the Pinnacles Overlook, and fossil beds, and there was a really strong wind as well. So be prepared. Bring a long shirt, and a beanie, and don't bring any hats. Make sure you tie, or pin your stuff down well, or it will blow away.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Camping

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  • Warning: prairie rattlesnakes on paths

    by JenniferW18 Updated Jun 20, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rattlesnake right on edge of path

    Warning! Do NOT think that just because you stick to the path that you are safe from rattlesnakes. We came across one right on the edge of the path. I walked within 2 feet of it and it never rattled or struck, and continued walking for about another 50 feet until we heard people yelling about a rattlesnake so we went back and discovered it right on the edge of the path. Be careful!! Even when I knew it was there and heard it rattling, it was hard to see!

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    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Basaic's Profile Photo

    Obey the Warning Signs

    by Basaic Written Nov 19, 2011

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    Warning Sign
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    As always, you should obey all warning signs. They are there to for your safety and to protect the park, its wildlife, and its plants. This is especially important in a place like the badlands where a mistake can be disastrous.

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    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Toughluck's Profile Photo

    Heat and lack of water

    by Toughluck Written Oct 28, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It's a long way to anywhere if you're on foot.

    Summer in the badlands is hot and dry with temperatures often exceeding 100° Fahrenheit. Know the signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion, and sunstroke and prevent their occurrence by drinking 1 gallon of water per day, wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, and covering up with long sleeves, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat.

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    • Road Trip

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  • Toughluck's Profile Photo

    Wildlife is dangerous

    by Toughluck Written Oct 28, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Artist-in-Residence painting of the prairies.

    • Keep a distance of at least 100 yards from all wildlife encountered during your hike. If wildlife reacts to your presence at all, you are too close.

    There are snakes, buffalo and even the deer can be dangerous.

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    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Rattlesnakes and a few other things

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Sep 9, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rattlesnake warning sign at Pinnacles Overlook

    No longer used to living in a part of the world that has various poisonous creatures lurking about as a regular part of the landscape, this Warning sign at our first Overlook in Badlands NP made us sit up and take notice that we should stick to the wide crushed rock trails throughout the park. Probably not a good idea to wander off into some of the taller grass sections while seeking out that extra-special view! Another thing you should be careful of is getting too close to the wild Bison in the park - they may look docile but they have sharp horns, short tempers and can easily outrun a human if they decide enough is enough.

    The Badlands are a wild and rugged looking place and the weather can be too with sudden wind, hail, rain, lightning or tornados occasionally sweeping across the plains. If you are planning to backpack, be prepared for more than just the sunny weather you may have started out in. It goes without saying, that you should also carry sufficient supplies of water in this desert-like region where the temperatures can become very hot and the climbing strenuous.

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  • Toughluck's Profile Photo

    This is snake country

    by Toughluck Written Apr 6, 2007
    Courtesy of NPS

    Seldom seen, but still present, rattle snakes can be exciting to see, but dangerous to deal with. Give them plenty of room and don't try to get close. They can strike at a distance you'd not expect. Stay on trails and you should have a worry free visit.

    Description: a coiled Prairie rattlesnake
    Artist: Hynes, Robert 'Bob'

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Beware of Rattlers!

    by yooperprof Written Oct 14, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I wouldn't go barefoot in the Park

    There are plenty of dangers at the Badlands - Rattlesnakes included. It seems that if you stick to the guided path, you'll be safer. I guess they've instructed the snakes to stay away from the trails.

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  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo

    Exploring

    by Rabbityama Written Oct 24, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While in the Badlands, it can be very tempting to want to climb or descend into certain areas to view different things and get new perspectives. However, I'd caution you to avoid actually doing this as much as possible, especially if you are traveling alone! The Badlands go on for miles, so it's unlikely that anyone will be around to help you if you get into a pinch and need rescued/first-aid. There are plenty of chances to see everything the Badlands has to offer, so there really is no need go off the beaten path!

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    • National/State Park
    • Mountain Climbing

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  • lar-n-me's Profile Photo

    Hello?????? anybody out there?????

    by lar-n-me Written Apr 30, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Be prepared. We were only planning on driving through.. ended up doing some hiking (couldn't resist)... have emergency materials and water just in case you wander further than planned.
    ALSO... don't lock your keys in your car during the parks off season. We hadn't seen one car until the angel sent one appeared after we'd be contemplating what we were going to do to get the keys out of our locked car... in the middle of nowhere. I'm not going to say who locked them in, just that it wasn't me. funny memory.
    p.s.stethoscopes do more than you realize...

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  • paulscuba's Profile Photo

    Drink water

    by paulscuba Written Jul 3, 2003

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    If you choose to go hiking during the warmer months, you will need to bring lots of water. There is no potable water on the trails so you have to carry it in. The park service recommends 2 liters of water per 2 hours per person.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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Badlands National Park Warnings and Dangers

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