Door Trail, Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the United States, and the Door Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the area. This trail takes hikers on a journey through the heart of the Badlands, offering stunning views of the unique rock formations and rugged terrain that make this region so special. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll through nature, the Door Trail is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Badlands National Forest.

Trail Highlights

Some of the the highlights of this trail are:

  • The Door Trail is a short, easy hike that takes visitors through a natural “door” in the Badlands rock formations.
  • The trail offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including the layered rock formations and the prairie grasslands.
  • Visitors may encounter a variety of wildlife along the trail, including bison, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, and prairie dogs.
  • The trail is also home to a variety of plant life, including cacti, wildflowers, and grasses.
  • The unique geology of the Badlands is on full display along the Door Trail, with its colorful rock formations and eroded canyons.
  • The trail is wheelchair accessible, making it a great option for visitors of all abilities.
  • The trailhead is conveniently located near the Ben Reifel Visitor Center, where visitors can learn more about the park’s history and geology.

Total distance: 0.75 miles (1.2 km.

Elevation gain: 30 feet.

Difficulty: 1/5

Child friendly?

The Door Trail in Badlands National Park is suitable for children. It is a short and easy trail that is less than a mile long and has a boardwalk that makes it accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. The trail also offers stunning views of the Badlands formations and is a great way to introduce children to the park’s unique landscape.

Local Campgrounds

Camping is a great option as a base camp for the Door Trail in the Badlands National Park. The best time of year to visit is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. The weather in the Badlands can be unpredictable, with hot summers and cold winters, so it’s important to come prepared with appropriate gear. Camping allows for easy access to the trailhead and the opportunity to fully immerse oneself in the stunning natural beauty of the park.

The best campground options in the area of the Door Trail  are the Cedar Pass Campground and the Sage Creek Campground

Cedar Pass Campground is located near the park’s main entrance and offers amenities such as showers, laundry facilities, and a camp store. Sage Creek Campground is a more primitive option located in the park’s North Unit, offering a more secluded camping experience with no amenities. Both campgrounds offer stunning views of the Badlands and easy access to hiking trails, including the Door Trail.

Other Activities

In addition to hiking, there are many other ways to discover this beautiful wildness. If you are planning a trip to Door Trail, be sure to consider some of the following:

  • Notch Trail
  • Castle Trail
  • Saddle Pass Trail
  • Fossil Exhibit Trail
  • Pinnacles Overlook Trail
  • Cliff Shelf Nature Trail
  • Medicine Root Loop Trail
  • Prairie Wind Overlook Trail Roberts Prairie Dog Town Trail
  • Conata Picnic Area
  • Cedar Pass Lodge activities (stargazing, chuckwagon dinners, etc.)

Door Trail FAQs

Are dogs allowed? Yes, dogs need to be kept on a leash

Is the trail well signed? Yes, the Door Trail is well signed., is a site dedicated to all nature enthusiasts out there! We believe that spending time outdoors is not just a hobby but a lifestyle. Discover new places, and learn new skills.


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