Badlands National Park Highpoint Trip Report

Date: May 27, 2005
Author: Adam Helman

Note: All NAD27 UTM coordinates are in zone 13T.

This effort was part of a larger journey in late May through early June 2005.

Access to this highpoint, located near the southwest tip of Badlands National Park, is acheived by parking along South Dakota route 40. Drive about twenty-five miles southeast and then south from Hermosa, or drive north on route 41 from Oglala on South Dakota 18. Charlie Winger reports that Route 40/41 is now paved (it was not when I was there).

The highpoint is located at the southern edge of a grassy plain, beyond which a drop of a few hundred feet occurs over steep, sandy terrain inadvisable for hiking. The highpoint has coordinates (670768 E, 4820438 N).

Viewing this state-of-affairs on arrival I parked my vehicle on the road shoulder, about 500 meters northwest of the highpoint and about one hundred meters north of where the road, as route 41, drops down off the mesa. Said parking location is roughly at the same latitude as the 3,311 foot spot elevation shown on the topo chart immediately west of the road.

Running at first, I then walked southeast to the highpoint area; tromped around aware of snake issues; and returned after a twenty minute hike. Views to the northeast are of the Badlands rock formations.

A vista point is available for tourists a few hundred meters north of where I parked for the hike. At the vista a short trail takes one down and nearer the badland formations for an excellent panorama.