Badlands National Park in South Dakota is an incredible place to explore, with its rugged beauty and unique geological formations.
Use our Badlands National Park Packing Lists to make sure you have everything you need to enjoy your trip.
As you make your plans for visiting Badlands National Park, it’s important to know the activities and things you’ll do so you can pack accordingly.
With this guide, you’ll know exactly what items are needed so your adventure will be as safe and enjoyable as possible!
From proper clothing and food to safety gear and tools, we’ve got all the essentials covered in our comprehensive Badlands National Park packing list!
You may not need every item depending on your type of travel or the things you will do. Make modifications to the lists as needed.
DOWNLOAD the packing lists for free below!
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Packing For a Trip to Badlands National Park
Season and weather are important to consider when packing for your Badlands National Park trip. Weather can be unpredictable any time of year, so be sure to check the forecast and pack accordingly!
Badlands National Park in the Spring
March is one of the driest months at Badlands, but usually late March and sometimes even April snow showers can dump sizeable amounts. Late April and May is the rainy season and the wettest months at the park. Be prepared with winter clothing so you can still enjoy outdoor activities!
- March average high 48˚ / low 24˚
- April average high 62˚ / low of 36˚
- May average high 72˚ / low of 46˚
Badlands National Park in the Summer
Mid-summer at Badlands National Park is warm and dry with plenty of sunshine. Humidity levels are low, and with the frequent breeze at this time of year, even the hottest days are still comfortable. Definitely pack water and sun protection for the summer months: hydration packs, refillable water bottles, sunscreen, sunhat, and UV protection clothing.
- June average high 83˚ / low 56˚
- July average high 92˚ / low 62˚
- August average high 91˚ / low 61˚
Badlands National Park in the Fall
In the fall you’ll enjoy sunny, mild days and cool nights in September and October. The first significant snowfall of the season is usually in October, although higher elevations sometimes receive snow as early as September. Occasional cold fronts moving through the park can bring blustery northwest winds. We suggest monitoring the weather at Badlands so you’re prepared with the right gear for the conditions.
- September average high 73˚ / low 45˚
- October average high 60˚ / low 34˚
- November average high 47˚ / low 23˚
Badlands National Park in the Winter
When visiting Badlands in the winter, roads going through the Badlands may be closed. Check Badlands road conditions on your route before leaving for your trip. In the winter, roads can be slick and icy — please use caution when driving.
Don’t forget to pack your winter clothing!
- December average highs 39˚ / lows 17˚
- January average highs 34˚ / lows 11˚
- February average high 40˚ / low 16˚
A Photo Tour of Badlands National Park
Take a visual tour through Badlands National Park to see the stunning landscape and wildlife you’ll find in the park!
Badlands National Park Packing Lists
Here’s a list of items we recommend you pack for a trip to the Badlands:
The America the Beautiful Annual Pass
We highly recommend you get the US National Park Pass, especially if you’ll be visiting multiple parks. It’s valid for one year from the date of purchase. Check the National Park Service website for the most current pricing information.
If you’re a US citizen these other passes are also available:
- Senior Pass if you’re over 62
- Military Pass
- 4th Grade Pass
One of the cool features of the national parks pass is it allows two signatures so the pass can be shared. The two people don’t have to be related either. You will need to show photo ID each time you use the pass.
Daypack Items for Outdoor Activities at Badlands National Park
- WATER – water bottles or hydration backpack
- Healthy snacks
- Flashlight or headlamp
- National Park travel guides and maps
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses
- Insect repellent
- Hand lotion
- Toilet paper (carry out in a bag – do not bury)
- Disposable urination device & feminine hygiene products
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Rechargeable hand warmers – awesome for winter!
- Bags to pack out trash
Hiking Gear for Badlands National Park
- Hiking shoes
- Waterproof hiking shoes
- Hiking sandals – summer
- Insulated boots – winter
- Darn Tough socks
- Trekking poles
- Traction cleats – winter
- Snowshoes and poles – winter
- What to Bring on a Day Hike
- Hiking Gear and Tips for Kids
- Photography Gear for Hiking
- Best Cameras for Hiking
Clothing for Spring, Summer and Fall at Badlands
You’ll want to wear wicking clothing so it pulls moisture (sweat) away from you and moves it to the fabric’s outer surface, where it can dry quickly. Wicking clothing allows you to sweat without feeling clammy or chilled.
Clothing For Winter at the Badlands
- Wicking and quick-drying base layers
- Fleece or insulated jacket
- Wool, down or heavy-weight insulated jacket
- Insulating hat
- Insulating winter gloves
- Fleece neck gaiter or buff
Other Important Gear to Pack for the Badlands
- Cell phone
- Portable charger
- Blister balm – you won’t need this if you wear Darn Tough socks (just sayin’)
CLICK TO SHOP FOR US NATIONAL PARK GUIDES & MAPS
Badlands National Park Packing Lists – Free Download
Click the graphic below to get your free printable packing lists for summer and winter!