The Ultimate Badlands National Park Motorcycle Ride

Jul 10, 2024

Tags:sdtravel guideroad trip

Scenic road at sunset, color toned picture, Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA. The Ultimate Badlands National Park Motorcycle Ride

The interconnected routes through and around Badlands National Park are by far some of the best South Dakota motorcycle rides you can ever think of taking. The unique terrain, featuring dramatic landscapes of jagged rock formations and expansive plateaus, offers a visually stunning backdrop for riders. Whether you're weaving through the park's Loop Road or exploring the surrounding areas, these routes promise an once-in-a-lifetime experience enriched by the wild, untouched atmosphere of the Badlands.

Keep reading for more information, frequently asked questions, and a special route from Riders Share with GPS directions included!

What’s the Best Motorcycle Route through Badlands National Park? 

Highway 240, also known as the Badlands Loop Road, is the best choice for a motorcycle ride through Badlands National Park. This 39-mile ride offers stunning views of unique rock formations and landscapes, and it's the perfect length for a day trip. The route gives you easy access to the park's main attractions and plenty of spots to stop and take in the scenery.

How long does it take to drive the Badlands Loop Road? 

This is a 39 mile road will take you approximately one hour and 10 minutes from one end to the other, without stopping. Note that this is not a loop- in other words, you’ll start in Wall, SD, and end about 20 miles southeast on Interstate 90. If you want to loop back around to Wall, expect the ride to take an extra 20 minutes.  View the Badlands Loop Road here. 

The Ultimate Badlands National Park Ride

VIEW THE BADLANDS ROUTE MAP HERE

  1. Pinnacles Entrance Station - Start at the northern entrance of Badlands National Park on SD-240, at exit 110 near Wall. It's a great entry point to begin your ride. You’ll need to purchase an entrance pass here. 
  2. Ben Reifel Visitor Center - Make your first stop at the visitor center to pick up maps and check out the exhibits on the area's natural and cultural history.
  3. Big Badlands Overlook - Head over to this overlook next. It offers spectacular views of the park's iconic landscapes.
  4. Pinnacles Overlook - Stop at the Pinnacles Overlook for another chance to enjoy expansive views and possibly spot some wildlife.
  5. Roberts Prairie Dog Town - Visit Roberts Prairie Dog Town to see these interesting animals up close. It's a fun and quick stop along the way.
  6. Sage Creek Road—Continue your ride on Sage Creek Road. This stretch is known for its beautiful scenery and more opportunities to see wildlife. Be aware that this road is dirt and gravel. An adventure or dual sport motorcycle may be better suited. 
  7. Scenic, South Dakota - Follow Sage Creek Road all the way to Scenic. It’s a quaint ghost town with a true Western feel, perfect for a brief visit. From Scenic, begin a long stretch on Highway 44 to loop back. 
  8. Minuteman Missile National Historic Site Visitor Center - On your way back, if you decide to include this stop, visit the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site to add a historical dimension to your trip.
  9. Wall Drug Store - Conclude your trip in Wall at the Wall Drug Store. It’s a great place to relax after your ride, with plenty of shopping and dining options.

Note: Some people have mixed feelings about Highway 44 (the Southern part of the loop that you’d take on the way back to Wall. In our opinion, it’s a lot of prairie, and still a lot of opportunity for wildlife and a scenic trip should you decide to take it. If you opt to cut out stop 8 (Minuteman Missile), you can backtrack north. If you don’t want to take 44 the whole way, consider the figure eight option here. 

badlands national park south dakota The Ultimate Badlands National Park Motorcycle Ride

Rent a Motorcycle with Riders Share

Rent a motorcycle from Riders Share for your journey through Badlands National Park. We offer a variety of motorcycles that are perfect for the diverse terrains of South Dakota, from rugged adventure bikes for gravel roads to smooth cruisers for the highway. Here’s why you should choose Riders Share:

  • Variety: We have a wide selection of motorcycles to match your style and riding needs.
  • Flexibility: You can pick up your bike from a convenient location and rent it for as long as you need.
  • Support: We provide 24/7 roadside assistance and excellent customer service.

Plan Your Trip to the Badlands

To start planning your trip, visit our website to check out the available motorcycles and book yours. Make sure to download our GPS-guided routes to get the most out of your adventure and ensure you see all the key sights.

Conclusion

Riding through Badlands National Park is an unforgettable experience that offers stunning views and exciting rides. Whether it's the unique rock formations, the rich history, or the diverse wildlife, this motorcycle trip has something for everyone.

You can view more memorable rides in South Dakota HERE.