Cedar Pass Lodge
During our first stay in the Badlands we were traveling with a 9 month old, 2 year old, and a 4 year old. Camping was not a realistic option for us especially in September when the evening temperatures can be cold. We booked one of the cabins at the Cedar Pass Lodge which is operated by Forever Resorts and run by the Oglala Sioux. These are located in the park itself near the visitor center, campground and the Cedar Pass Lodge restaurant and gift shop. At the time we paid $55 a night. The current rates are now up to $75. The cabins look tiny from the outside, but are about the size of normal hotel room with two double beds and a bathroom with a shower. They are air conditioned, clean, and have a fabulous view. There are a few cabins, maybe 2 or 3 that have more than one bedroom that could accommodate larger families. There are only about 20 or so cabins altogether. They are located on a short loop near the Ben Reifel Visitor Center and the Lodge restaurant. The view is beautiful. My husband spent time walking up the road a bit to take ‘one more shot’. Each cabin has a bench on a small wood porch as you can see in the photo. Please note: the cabins are a typical motel room size but the photo angle makes it appear deceptively tiny . The great view is in the other direction.
Staying in the park or at least near one of the Eastern entrances (Interior, Cactus Flat, Kadoka) is somewhat advantageous for hiking since most trails are on that side of the park. Coming from Wall every morning would add 30 miles of driving each way. The Lodge has a restaurant that operates May to October. We ate there once and while it is conveniently located we can’t recommend it for a quality meal.
Cedar Pass Campground
Camping The Cedar Pass Campground is operated by the national park itself. It is a beautiful campground and a great deal at $10 a night. The 96 sites are operated on a first come, first served basis with a 14 day continuous stay limit. Amenities include cold running water and flush toilets. Each site has a covered picnic table which you can view in the photos. Not included are showers or electrical hook- ups. A dump station is available with a $1.00 fee per use. Open campfires are prohibited. There are also four group sites available by advance reservation only. These are reserved for organized groups with a designated leader. The nightly fee is $2.50 per person with a minimum fee of $25. For more information (605) 433-5235.
Sage Creek Primitive Campground
Open year round, access to this campground may be limited in winter and during the spring rainy season due to road conditions. The Sage Creek Rim Road is remote and unpaved. It is not recommended for large recreational vehicles. The campground is currently free and offers pit toilets and picnic tables. There is a fourteen day limit. There is no water available. Open campfires are not permitted.