Notch Trail

Notch Trail

1.3 Miles Moderate

Badlands National Park
Near Interior, South Dakota


The Notch Trail at Badlands National Park in Interior, South Dakota is a moderate 1.3 mile out-and-back hike and is one of the best hiking trails in the Badlands. The trail requires a 20 foot ladder climb and a hike along a 40 foot ledge dropoff, so if you're afraid of heights, this hike may not be for you. However, if heights are not a problem, or you're up for a challenge with awesome views, this hike is for you.

The trail starts off flat and you hike through strange rock pillars on the way to the ledges. Once you reach the ladder and the main set of ledges, climb the ladder and continue along the trail. From here, the trail snakes along the same ledges you just climbed up until you pass into another valley between more massive rock pillars to either side of you. Continue along the trail until you reach a dead-end and cliff area with an expansive view of the rest of the Badlands and parts of South Dakota.

This is by far one of the best hiking trails at the Badlands and is well worth a visit if you're driving through the park. Also be sure to check out the short, but neat, Door Trail since that trailhead is in the same parking lot as the Notch Trail.

Camping: camping is technically allowed in most place in the Badlands; however, make sure to check the Badlands National Park's website before pitching a tent along this trail.


Camping Allowed

Get Directions

43.760269, -101.928215
N 43º 45' 36.966" , W 101º 55' 41.574"
Map Type:


109 '
Elevation Change
139 '
Elevation Gain
141 '
Elevation Loss

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Other trails at Badlands National Park

Trail Name
0.8 Miles
Notch Trail
1.3 Miles

Total Miles

1 Review

1.3 miles
added on 10/2015