Camping in The Badlands

Camping in Badlands National Park is quite an experience. And I mean that in good and bad ways.

We stayed in Cedar Pass Campground, the main campground of Badlands. On the upside, there was tons of space. Plenty of room to sprawl out due to the fact that there is seriously nothing surrounding each camp site. Literally nothing. No trees, no shrubs… just open, flat land all around you.

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Obviously the lack of shade sucks, especially in a park known for it’s scorching temperatures. Luckily each campsite comes equipped with a shade awning over each picnic table.

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A downside to all that flat nothingness? Some of the worst wind I have ever experienced. The wind was blowing so hard, none of us could get any sleep. It beat against the tent with incredible force, and the noise, combined with a fear that the tent would collapse on us, lead to a couple sleepless nights.

Turns out our fear of the tent collapsing wasn’t totally invalid. It DID collapse…but it happened while we were out hiking.

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Cedar Pass is located near the Ben Reifel Visitor Center and has 96 sites available, each with access to flush toilets and running water. The campground is also filled with these little guys. So watch your step after dark!

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It’s also important to note that there are no open fires permitted in Badlands due to extreme fire danger, only propane or charcoal.

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The best part about this campground though? The amazing skies. The sunsets looked like the sky was on fire, and late in the evening after dark, we were treated to some epic electrical storms (aka thunder and lightning, but no rain). I wish I possessed the photography skills to have been able to capture it on film, but alas, I do not.

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Rates for Cedar Pass Campground (at time of publishing) start at $22 per night for double occupancy, plus $4 per additional person. Sites with electrical hook-ups start at $37 per night. Reservation for Cedar Pass Campground can be made online through Cedar Pass Lodge.

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Cedar Pass full on the dates you want to go? Don’t worry, there is additional camping available at Sage Creek Campground on a first come, first served basis. This campground is more primitive, with pit toilets and covered picnic tables, but no running water. However it is free to camp here, and the campground almost never fills up. Plus I hear bison often wander freely through the campground, and that sounds pretty cool.

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Camping not really your thing? No worries, there are now cabins also available in Badlands at the Cedar Pass Lodge that include:

  • 32″ Flat Screen TV with Satellite Reception
  • Energy Star – Mini Refrigerator and Freezer
  • Energy Star – Microwave
  • Coffee Maker
  • Hair Dryer
  • Bamboo Towels & Upgraded Bedding
  • Ceiling Fan and Lakota Lamp
  • Air Conditioning and Heat ultra quiet for your comfort

Rates start at $176 for double occupancy, and reservations can be made online through the Cedar Pass Lodge website.

The lodge also has a restaurant and store available onsite where you can stock up on souvenirs, ice, grocery items, handmade gifts, and more. For more information on the restaurant, visit the Cedar Pass Lodge Restaurant website.

For additional information on camping in Badlands, visit the Badlands National Park webiste.

Any tips or info to add about camping in Badlands? Share it in the comments!

Author: Natalie Bates

LA-based freelance writer | Blogger | Craft beer drinker | Rock 'n roll girlfriend | Adventurer | Lover of tattoos, red lipstick, and popcorn | World traveler | Compassionate human | Photography enthusiast | Eco warrior | Celtic babe ❤️

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