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Badlands In Winter

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Winter Overview

Winter in the Badlands often sees snow blanket the landscape while temperatures range from the low teens to the high 30’s. The park sees very little visitation in the winter months and some of the more remote parts are inaccessible. Winds in the Northern Great Plains can reach gusts of more than 60 miles per hour with very little to stop them. If you decide to venture to the park in the colder months keep this in mind and be sure to pack accordingly.

Winter Monthly Temperatures in Badlands

December 39F / 17F
January 34F / 11F
February 40F / 16F
March 48F / 24F

Things to See in Badlands

Winter Activities in Voyageurs

Winter in the Badlands is cold, harsh, and desolate. What life there is on the prairie seeks shelter from the elements wherever they can find it. the prairie dogs keep to their burrows and the birds have long since left for greener pastures down south. You’re likely to see snow-draped bison roaming the desolate prairie in search of food and shelter. Popular Winter activities in the Badlands include:

  • Snowshoeing and hiking the park’s trails.
  • Driving through the park’s main road and enjoying the scenic overlooks.
  • Wildlife watching. In winter you’ll often spot bison roaming the snow-covered prairies of the badlands which makes for a great photo opportunity (from a safe distance!).
  • Stargazing. If you’re bold enough to brave the often subzero temperatures at night the skies are quite a site to behold. If you’re lucky you might even catch the faint glow of the northern lights on the horizon.

Location | Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Interested in what Badlands is like during other times of the year? Check out our Badlands Seasons & Weather page to learn more about which season is best for your visit to the park. Our personal favorite is Fall but Spring & Summer are nice as well, and then there’s Winter which is pretty darn cold.

Badlands by Season


This film is the culmination of several weeks spent filming in the rugged Badlands of South Dakota. A true monument to the American West, Badlands National Park and its vast landscapes beckon to be explored and looked upon in awe. Journey with us as we explore this magical place in stunning 8K.

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Jim Pattiz

Co-Founder of More Than Just Parks. Filmmaker, Conservationist, Public Lands Enthusiast

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