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Badlands National Park Biking

Bicycles are allowed only on designated paved, gravel, and dirt roads within the park. They are not allowed on hiking trails, closed roads, or in the backcountry. There is no off road cycling in Badlands National Park. The mixed grass prairie is easily impacted by wheeled traffic. The badland formations are centuries old, yet very fragile.

Bicycle racks are provided at the Cedar Pass Lodge and selected trailheads.

For your safety, you should wear a helmet and appropriate clothing. Depending on the season, you may need sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen or gloves. Carry plenty of water in all seasons - at least one gallon per person per day. Water is available only at the park visitor centers.

Dirt and gravel roads can be extremely muddy and are frequently impassable. Check on road conditions before setting out.

Use extreme caution when riding on park roads. There are no bike lanes provided. Recreational and agricultural vehicles travel all roads, particularly during the summer months. Drivers will not be watching for bicyclists. Large mirrors on such vehicles pose a hazard for bicyclists.

Where to Ride

Cyclists who prefer paved roads may want to ride on a portion of the park's main loop road. Remember that the road can be quite steep. If you have an automobile shuttle available, you may want to begin your ride at the Pinnacles Overlook, 8 miles south of the town of Wall and end your ride at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. This 22 mile route is mostly downhill, although there are several steep passes that you must climb.

Riders of all terrain or touring bikes suitable for gravel roads may want to ride on the Sage Creek Rim Road along the northern boundary of the park. The road will take you from the Pinnacles Overlook past a prairie dog town, and on to spectacular views of the Badlands Wilderness Area. This is not a loop route.

During summer, vehicle traffic is heavy, winds are high, and temperatures are hot.

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