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Badlands Backpacking- suggestions needed please.....

Mt. Clemens, Mi
5 posts
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Badlands Backpacking- suggestions needed please.....

I will be visiting SD in late September for a week and want to spend 2-3 days (1-2 nights) in the Badlands NP backcountry. Can you give me some suggestions please? Someone suggested the Sage Creek Loop (22 miles)any thoughts? Would love to see some grasslands, a Bison herd (at a distance) and some great rock formations. Thanks in advance.

Keystone, SD
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103 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: Badlands Backpacking- suggestions needed please.....

Sage Creek is an excellent area for backpacking that can be easily trekked by experienced hikers in a couple of days. Make sure you have plenty of water as there's none available on the trail and even in late September you may be surprised at how much you will drink. The badlands are very arid and with a slight breeze and warm temperatures you will dehydrate quickly. Also, high-topped boots are recommended as the area does have many rattlesnakes -- a stout walking stick helps too.

Mt. Clemens, Mi
5 posts
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2. Re: Badlands Backpacking- suggestions needed please.....

Thanks for the tips. Keep the suggestions and tips coming if anyone has any. Thanks again!!!

Denver, CO
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391 posts
20 reviews
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3. Re: Badlands Backpacking- suggestions needed please.....

This is what the visitor's guide says (seems pretty complete):

•Permits are not currently required for overnight stays in the Badlands backcountry. Contact a staff member at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center or Pinnacles Entrance Station before setting out on an overnight trip for more information. Backcountry registers are located at the Medicine/Castle Trail Loop, Saddle Pass Trailhead, Conata Picnic Area, Sage Creek Basin Overlook, and the Sage Creek Campground.

• Twisted or fractured ankles are the most common serious injury sustained in Badlands National Park. Make sure you are wearing sturdy boots with good ankle support. The park is home to many burrowing animals. Watch your footing.

• Campfires are not allowed under any circumstances. Use a backpacking stove.

• Pets are not permitted on trails, in backcountry, or Wilderness Areas.

•The location of your campsite must be at least 0.5 miles from a road or trail and must not be visible from a roadway.

• There is little to no water available in the backcountry. The small amounts of water found are not drinkable or filterable due to the high sediment content. Always carry at least one gallon of water per person per day.

• All refuse must be carried out. Use the cat hole method to dispose of human waste. Dig a small hole 6 to 8 inches deep and a minimum of 200 feet from any water source. Since animals will often dig up cat holes and scatter the toilet paper, it is preferred that you pack out any toilet paper used. If you must bury toilet paper, use a minimal amount and bury with at least 6 inches of soil. Strain food particles from wastewater, pack out food scraps, and scatter remaining water more than 200 feet from any stream channel.

• Check the weather forecast. Severe thunderstorms are common during the summer, so are days above 100ºF

(38ºC). September and early October are the best bakpacking months.



The only thing I'd add is that the weather seems unseasonably cool this year, so you might be prepared for nighttime temps in the low-mid 40's in late September.

4. Re: Badlands Backpacking- suggestions needed please.....

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