Visiting the Badlands area of South Dakota is like stepping into a moonscape on earth. Home to Badlands National Park, you’ll find the towns of Belvidere, Interior, Kadoka, Martin, Mellette County, Wall and White River.
You will witness a stunning example of geological variety: Jagged cliffs, deep canyons and sharp buttes, formed by relentless forces of nature. Enjoy park trails; explore the limitless back country by hiking, backpacking or camping; join ranger led programs or visit the “Big Pig Dig.”
Just east of the Badlands is the Minuteman Missile Silo National Historic Site, created to illustrate the history of the Cold War, the arms race, and intercontinental ballistic missile development. South of the Badlands you will find Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where you can experience Native American culture.
Make sure you visit the community of Wall, home of the world’s largest drug store, Wall Drug. Enjoy the Badlands Petrified Gardens in Kadoka. Also, while you are in the area stop at the South Dakota Air and Space Museum, South Dakota’s Original 1880 Town and Murdo’s Pioneer Auto Museum.
"Wildlife and History Abound"
Surrounded on three sides by the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservations, the town of Martin is a good base camp to experience the Lakota culture. Motel accommodations are available for overnight guests and dining for your eating pleasure.
To the north are the rugged Dakota Badlands and the moonscapes of Badlands National Park. To the south are the Sandhills of Nebraska. Sandwiched in between are Martin and the flat lands used for wheat farming.
Located at Exits 150 and 152 along I-90, Kadoka derives is name from the Lakota Sioux and literally means "hole in the wall." This references the easy entrance into the spectacular but foreboding Badlands just west of town. This also gives Kadoka the distinction of being the "Gateway to the Badlands."
"Where Prairie Skies Meet Western Life"
Located 23 miles south of I-90 at the junction of Highway 83 and 44; White River is a gateway to the Badlands and Rosebud Reservation. Settled in 1911, White River has become known as favorite hunting area for grouse, pheasant, deer, varmint and wild turkey. Experience fishing, ranch vacations, rodeos, powwows and other outdoor activities where the prairie skies meet western life.
Perched high on the edge of sunburned cliffs, Wall takes its name from the rugged ramparts that form the north rim of South Dakota’s Badlands. It is a "gateway" community to Badlands National Park, and offers year-round motels, campgrounds, restaurants and auto services. Home of the famous Wall Drug Store where the promise of "free ice water" brought in thirsty travelers on their long trek across South Dakota.
Wall boasts of 11 motels, 7 restaurants, museums, campgrounds, auto services, a medical clinic and a golf course.
Interior is the oldest Badlands town, dating back to the 1880s. Originally, Interior was located along the Big White River. When the railroad came, it moved one mile north. The town is just outside the south gate of Badlands National Park. Public lands near Interior hold South Dakota’s premier agate beds for rock hunters.
Of interest near Interior are Badlands National Park, Badlands Loop Scenic Byway, Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, High Plains Big Game Hunting, Lakota Heritage.
Adventures Begin in Mellette County
Rodeos, powwows, ranch vacations, wagon train, hunting and bull riding to name a few. Come to Mellette County to relax and have fun!
Sunsets and More
Camping, photography, bicycling, bird watching, listening to the sounds of nature such as coyotes howl, historical museums, the beautiful Badlands and more.
Close to Badlands National Park, Badlands Petrified Gardens, Wall Drug and Pioneer Auto Museum. A perfect vacation stopover with easy access to I-90.
Local events include area rodeos, an Indian Powwow, pheasant and grouse hunting, prairie dog hunting, sightseeing, fishing at the State Lake and bird watching at the State Bird Refuge.