2015 was a busy year at Badlands National Park. A total of 1,055,274 visitors found their way to this rugged and wonderful place, a 13.7% increase compared to 2014. The last time Badlands exceeded a million visitors was fifteen years ago. The increase in visitation was reflected in the number of people that stayed in the campground, attended ranger programs and hiked into the back country. One visitor stated, “I will be back again to eventually hike all of this.” Visitation at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center was also up with 259,000 people seeing the exhibits and park film. One of these visitors that also experienced the Fossil Prepreparation lab commented, “I thought it was very cool and interesting. It made me stop and think about how many creatures lived back then!”
“Badlands National Park is obviously a compelling place to visit, with the spectacular landscapes, the outstanding wildlife viewing, the extensive mixed grass prairie, and the variety of opportunities for park visitors” said Park Superintendent Mike Pflaum. “The visitation numbers clearly indicate that people continue to find the park a great place to experience.”
As the National Park Service celebrates its centennial year in 2016, the park staff invites you to visit and explore Badlands National Park. Entrance fees will be waived on the following days: April 16 – 24, National Park Week; August 25 – 28, National Park Service 100th Birthday Weekend; September 24, National Public Lands Day; and November 11, Veteran’s Day. Check the park website, www.nps.gov/badl, for upcoming events and programs.
Christine Czazasty, Chief of Interpretation & Education
Badlands National Park