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“Our favorite Badlands trail”
Review of Notch Trail

Notch Trail
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Scenic hiking trail that takes about an hour.
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Many people skip the Badlands, thinking of it as a lesser attraction to nearby Mt. Rushmore. It was really worth the trip for us and was made especially rewarding by getting out of the car and on the trails, most notably the Notch Trail. With it's assortment of challenges, the log ladder and narrow footpaths that hug the ledges, it was just enough thrill to satisfy my teens (ages 16 & 13) but not too much for fairly active middle-age adults like my husband and I. Highly recommend it!

1  Thank HomeschoolontheRoad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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231 - 235 of 287 reviews

Reviewed September 13, 2012

We had so much fun on this trail: you have to be mindful of where the trail makers are and your footing. Also, there is a ladder you need to climb up and back down. If you don't like heights this isn't the trail for you (this is because of the ladder - if you look down when you are going down the ladder it can be a bit daunting). If you are good with heights, the view is fantastic! It doesn't take long either.

Thank Ria83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2012

We're certainly not experienced hikers, but we don't have any mobility issues. We found this hike to be fairly easy to manage, and quite enjoyable - it ends with a spectacular view of the Badlands, and is very scenic along the way. Only tricky part is the steep steps/ladder near the hike's beginning - but take your time with it (especially going down), and it's fine. A couple of spots where you're a bit close to a shard drop-off, so do have to watch footing (and keep an eye on kids), but nothing too dangerous. Otherwise, generally a fairly relaxed hike, and well worth the time.

Thank MAWJS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012 via mobile

This trail is great if you want to get off the boardwalk but not ready for backcountry action. We took our 3,5 and 7 year old (there are some major cliffs so make sure you have enough responsible adults for the little ones). Our little one was able to walk the whole way. This was the highlight of our two day stay in the park.

The trail took us about an hour roundtrip, that being said be sure to pack water.

The trail starts in the valley, then you climb a cable/log ladder to the rim, walk the rim, wind through the towering rock formations and the trail ends with a beautiful view of the valley.

We hiked it after dinner, the setting sun made the colors of the rock brilliant, it was beautiful. The weather had cooled off making for a nice hike. Keep in mind the trails will get dark quickly.

If you have one one stop on the park, make it this one.

5  Thank herd_of_5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2012

This trail has its challenging parts but our family of 5 (kids ages 13, 11 and 7) made it with no problems. Very fun!

1  Thank Barb F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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