Badlands Kid Hikes

Every time we go to a National Park we make it a point to find all the hikes for kids. We do as many as we can so we can report our favorites back to you. If you’re looking for a hike for your kids in Zion, Bryce, Great Basin, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches, Canyonlands, and Mesa Verde, we’ve got you covered. Today we’ll let you in on the best hikes for kids in Badlands National Park.


Door Trail

Door Trail: This hike was our boys’ favorite because there is not really a beaten path. Instead, you choose your own route to a series of yellow poles driven into the ground. The hike runs under a mile out and back, and the kids will love the chance to explore!

Window Trail

Window Trail: This quarter mile boardwalk hardly qualifies as a hike, but it pairs nicely with the door. This is the perfect hike for the baby and grandma. You can even make this scenic overlook if you’re on wheels.

Notch Trail

Notch Trail: This is our most adventurous hike in the Badlands. It has a large leaning ladder (click the link for pictures to see if it’s right for you) and climbs steadily for three-quarters of a mile to an amazing overlook. The way back can be more difficult because downhill can be slippery. This hike is perfect for your those who tire of toddler hikes.

Fossil Exhibit Trail 

Fossil Exhibit Trail: This hike is appropriate for anyone (wheels, too) and leads to several fossil exhibits. It’s more of an outdoor Visitor’s Center than a hike, but the kids will love exploring.


Cliff Shelf Trail

Cliff Shelf Trail: We were lucky enough to see an huge rattlesnake on this hike, so it’s hard to be unbiased about it. This short loop is partially boardwalked and includes a few stairs, but nothing too strenuous. And maybe you’ll be lucky like we were!


There are lots of kid friendly hikes in the Badlands, and we had a wonderful day exploring this National Park. Make sure to read our full review of Badlands National Park and check out our list of Things to do in South Dakota.


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