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Badlands and Hill City from the east

Alexandria, Virginia
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326 posts
7 reviews
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Badlands and Hill City from the east

I will be taking my first trip to this area in a few weeks. We are driving west on hwy 90 from Milwaukee and we have a reservation for one night at the Cedar Pass cabins followed by 5 nights in Hill City. I'm wondering what route will allow us to see as much of the Badlands as possible and then what would be a scenic route to Hill City. It looks like the loop goes off of 90 at Cactus flat and then rejoins it at Wall. Would it make sense to take 90 to Wall and then backtrack on the loop? And then take Hwy 44 or some other non-interstate road to Hill City?

Our priorities are: hiking in the Badlands, getting to Hill City in time for dinner and driving the most scenic routes. We're not interested in seeing Wall Drug as such but should we spend the night before in Wall to be close to the Badlands the next day?

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
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6,037 posts
61 reviews
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1. Re: Badlands and Hill City from the east

You certainly could take 44 provided you have the time. If time permits, you could stop and spend the night in Wall so you can be close to the area early. However, you will get to see a sunrise while staying at Cedar Pass for the night, which would be my primary reason for doing this. Keep in mind most of the trails in the Badlands are pretty short and very manageable in a day or even less. Most people only spend about a 1/2 day in the park.

BTW, it is a motorcycle ride site, but here is a link to Rt. 44 into Rapid city.


As you will see, the road is considered quite scenic, and I'm sure you'd enjoy it based on self description.

Enjoy your trip planning.

2. Re: Badlands and Hill City from the east

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