Help / FAQ

When was the Park created?

Badlands National Monument was established in 1939 and was re-designated as a National Park in 1978.

How many people visit the Park each year?

Visitation is around one million campers, hikers, backpackers and fossil enthusiasts per year.

What is a fossil?

A fossil is a preserved sign of ancient life.

Where did Badlands get its name?

The Lakota knew the place as “mako sica.” Early French trappers called the area “les mauvaises terres” a traverse. Both mean “bad lands” They were hard to travel through and/or live in.

If there is an item I would like to purchase that I don’t see online, what can I do?

Please just give us a call at 605-433-5489.

How many acres are the badlands?

244,000 acres

How far are you from Mt. Rushmore?

Badlands is approximately 100 miles east of Black Hills SD, the location of Mt. Rushmore.

What is the black and white bird with the long tail?

Black billed magpie.

Are there places to camp and stay in the Badlands?

Yes, there are a number of places. Please call the visitor center for more information.

Any other park related questions can be answered by calling Badlands National Park Visitor Center. You can find contact information at their website Questions may also be answered by taking a look at the park map and newsletter available as PDF files on this site and at the site listed above.

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