FATMAP by Strava

Notch Trail

A short walk through a canyon with an impressive overlook at its furthest point.

Hiking Moderate

2.1 km
41 m
41 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
808 m
High Point
844 m
Notch Trail Map

The Notch Trail is one of three classic hikes near the Northeastern Entrance to Badlands National Park. In contrast to the Door Trail, this hike is entirely on dirt and offers impressive views of classic badlands formations and seemingly-endless prairies. Along the way, you'll traverse through "a canyon of eroded sediment spotted by juniper and brush," and even along the edge of a small cliff, meaning "it is not a good option for hikers with a fear or heights." Source


The trailhead is a large, paved parking area with plenty of room for larger vehicles, RV's, buses, or trailers. There are only vault toilets, however, so plan accordingly and pack plenty of water. The entire out-and-back is only 1.3-miles in length, but a steep staircase in the middle will still test your stamina.

The main highlight of this short hike is a spectacular overlook of the Badlands at its southernmost point. From the top, you can even glance down and see the Cliff Shelf Nature Trail, another excellent hike should you find the time. Though it may seem there is a way to connect the two looking at the map, there is not. Instead, retrace your steps back to the parking lot and consider a short walk up either the Window or Door Trails for even more impressive views.




Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area