Window Trail, Notch Trail - Window Trail - Door Trail Parking Area, Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Window Trail - 0.3 miles

Notch Trail - Window Trail - Door Trail Parking Area

View of the Badland Wall from the Window Trail boardwalk

View of the Badland Wall from the Window Trail boardwalk

Round-Trip Length: 0.3 miles
Start-End Elevation: 2,665' - 2,665'
Elevation Change: No Elevation Change
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Window Trail - 0.3 Miles Round-Trip

This short boardwalk-trail leads to sensational easterly views of the Badland Wall. Visitors will enjoy unimpeded vistas of dramatically carved spires, pinnacles, knives, fins, gullies and canyons.

The unforgiving impact of erosion is quite evident from this memorable viewpoint. Lighting is best in the late afternoon.

Stretching for nearly 60 miles east to west, The Badland Wall we see today was carved over the past 500,000 years by three river systems and millennia of rain, wind and exposure.

Predating and setting the stage for such a rapid occurrence, The White River (south of the park), eroded a scarp - a long steep slope or cliff at the edge of a plateau or ridge - in the Lower Plain.

Subsequent storms over the next 5 million years eroded away at this 'Wall-in-the-making', causing its crest to recede northward away from the river and toward the upper-lower plains. Erosion of the Badland Wall (and other Park formations) occurs at a rate of almost one inch per year, light-speed in geologic terms.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N43 45.658 W101 55.650 — 0.0 Miles: Window Trailhead Area

Worth Noting

  • The Window Trail is best lit in the early morning and late afternoon.

  • Though tempting for some, do not attempt to descend into the canyon country below the overlook. Easier access can be had from the Door Trail's boardwalk.

Directions to Trailhead

The Window Trail parking area is located approximately 2 miles northeast of the Ben Reifel Visitor Center on Highway 240. Parking spaces are abundant but can fill up quickly during peak times.

The Window Trailhead is located at the South end of the Parking Area.

Contact Information

Badlands National Park
25216 Ben Reifel Road
P.O. Box 6
Interior, SD 57750

Park Headquarters

By Fax

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