Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway (SD 240) may only be little ol’ state two-lane road but this 31-mile stretch happens to pass through some of the most amazing buttes, cliffs and multi-colored spires of Badlands National Park. This makes Badlands Loop one of the most recognized in the county and consistently places it on “Top Ten” lists by many media outlets.
Badlands National Park is like no place else (not even neighboring Badlands in the north, across the state border) on Earth and this road cuts directly through the middle of the north unit surrounding drivers, bikers and cyclists of SD 240 in a labryinth of wonderful landscape. Its roughly 38 miles contains numerous passes, 15 overlooks, eight trails to get and stretch on and a great visitor center. Don’t miss the Big Badlands Overlook in the east or the Door, Window and Notch Trail turnoff just a few miles further south down the road; in the west, make sure to stop at the Pinnacles Overlook and the Yellow Mounds Overlook towards the western end of the loop road.
To get there, if traveling west on I-90, take Exit 131 (Interior) and follow the signs directing vehicles south roughly three miles to the Northeast entrance of Badlands National Park. For those traveling east on I-90, take Exit 110 at Wall, South Dakota. Follow signs directing vehicles south approximately seven miles to the Pinnacles Entrance. From Rapid City, SD Hwy 44 provides a scenic back road to the park and meets up with SD HWY 377 in the town of Interior. Follow 377 two miles north to the Park’s Interior Entrance.