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Door Trail

An classic short hike in Badlands with stunning views.

Hiking Easy

1.4 km
10 m
10 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
793 m
High Point
803 m
Door Trail Map

The Door Trail is a classic short hike in Badlands National Park and located near the Park's Northeast Entrance. Less than one mile round-trip, it quickly introduces hikers to the incredibly beautiful and rugged landscape that makes the Badlands one of the most coveted areas in South Dakota.


According to the NPS, "The Door Trail leads to the broken landscape that earned this area the name Badlands. Over time, water sliced through the earth around you, exposing sedimentary rock layers. These layers continue to erode today into dramatic canyons and spires. Explore these features up close by passing through a natural door at the end of the boardwalk."

Less than five minutes from the trailhead, there is a spur trail leading through a "door" in the rock formations, and you'll be welcomed by a viewing platform with impressive views to the East. According to this source, the pathway to the main viewing platform is also wheelchair and stroller friendly. Further ahead, the trail wanders deeper into the backcountry, always blazed with yellow, knee-high posts.

The trailhead for this hike is especially large, with plenty of parking for both trailers and larger RV's. Two other classic hikes, the Notch and Door Trails, also share the same trailhead. Should you have the time, a visit to all three is an awarding endeavor.

There is an entrance fee to access the park and current rates can be viewed here. As with most National Parks, dogs are also not allowed on any hiking trail in the park.

Sources: https://www.hikespeak.com/trails/door-trail-badlands/ https://www.hikespeak.com/trails/window-trail-badlands/



Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area