So you’re planning a camping trip to Badlands National Park!
👆 Badlands Loop Road in Badlands National Park. Access to Badlands Loop Road is near Cedar Pass Campground!
If you are headed to Badlands National Park and are looking for camping with the classic views of the Badlands in the background, then you just might love Cedar Pass campground!
Share the Badlands Loop Road video with the people you’ll be traveling to South Dakota with!
Cedar Pass campground is one of the 2 campgrounds in Badlands National Park.
This campground in the Cedar Pass area is the one that will give you the greatest convenience in terms of location and amenities for camping in Badlands National Park.
What campground was Nomadland filmed?
Cedar Pass Campground is the campground in the Badlands that the main character Fern was a camp host at in the movie Nomadland!
This means that Cedar Pass Campground is as seen on TV!
For another Badlands filming location, there is also a scene in which Fern is walking through the Badlands. I am pretty sure that was Door Trail, past the boardwalk! (In one scene, it looks like you can see the boardwalk in the background.)
For more Nomadland locations in South Dakota, Fern was also seen driving through the Needles Eye Tunnel (I am pretty sure!) and working at Wall Drug!
There is also a scene in which Fern is standing with the Needles of the Black Hills as the vast landscape. You can find similar scenes at stops along the Needles Highway.
And finally, there was another scene of her watching a buffalo. Because of the other scenes surrounding it, my guess is that was Custer State Park!
If you’re headed to a Cedar Pass campground, you can watch Nomadland on Hulu before you go!
More below about the practical stuff about camping at Cedar Pass campground!
Here are some ideas for a classic South Dakota road trip going from east to west!
After you go to Badlands National Park, you can head west to Wall Drug and then onwards to Mount Rushmore! You've made it to the Black Hills, where you'll find Custer State Park for a perfect place to stay. You can choose from the Custer State Park campgrounds or Custer State Park camping cabins for a budget-friendly stay, or you can go for more luxury at one of the Custer State Park lodges! (You can even stay at a past president's Summer White House!) While you're in the area, you can also go to Wind Cave National Park and/or Jewel Cave National Monument and/or the Mammoth Site! Drive the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway on your way west out of the Black Hills and South Dakota as you continue your epic road trip to Devils Tower National Monument and Wyoming! Then, onwards to the best places to visit in Wyoming with your grand finale of Wyoming being one day in Yellowstone National Park!
Read the details: Best places to visit in South Dakota
Save the South Dakota video playlist to watch on youtube later!
A few things to know about camping in Badlands National Park in the Cedar Pass area
1. Cedar Pass campground is where to go for camping in Badlands National Park with views of the badlands!
Pretty much no matter where you are in the campground, you will be able to see a distant view of the iconic badlands!
2. You will be very close to Badlands Loop Road.
👆 Around a 5 minute drive from Cedar Pass campground on Badlands Loop Road.
Badlands Loop Road is the main road in Badlands National Park.
It’s the road that you can drive through while having the Badlands rock formations all around you, and it’s the road that has stops for many scenic overlooks of the Badlands.
👆👆 Around a 5-10 minute drive from Cedar Pass campground on Badlands Loop Road.
The Cedar Pass campground is nearly right off of Badlands Loop Road. The road to the campground is not directly off of Badlands Loop Road, but it’s just a short drive to get there.
3. You will also be close to the top hiking trails in Badlands National Park.
Badlands Loop Road is also where you will find access to hiking trails, and the Cedar Pass area is where you will find the popular hiking trails in Badlands National Park.
This means that the Cedar Pass campground is near the popular hiking trails in Badlands National Park. This includes the Notch Trail, the Window Trail, and the Door Trail. It is about a 5 minute drive to start these trails.
Camping at Cedar Pass will also put you a short drive away from many other overlooks. This includes the Big Badlands Overlook which will be about a 10 minute drive away.
See more about hiking near Cedar Pass Campground: Best hikes in Badlands National Park
4. The Cedar Pass campground is for tent camping and RV camping.
5. Reservations for the Cedar Pass campground is made through the Cedar Lodge.
Although the Cedar Pass campground is located within Badlands National Park, it is not managed by the National Park Service.
You will make your Cedar Pass campground reservation through Cedar Lodge.
This campground does tend to book up, so you’ll want to make your reservation in advance.
The campground is open from April to October, In 2021, the Cedar Pass campground dates are from April 1st 2021 to October 25th 2021. See current info.
How much does camping in Badlands National Park cost?
The cost of tent camping in Badlands National Park at Cedar Pass campground starts at around $23 a night.
The cost of RV camping in Badlands National Park at Cedar Pass campground starts at around $38 a night.
This starting fee is the cost for 2 campers, and there’s an additional cost of $4 per person per night. This fee doesn’t apply to kids 15 and under.
In addition to the camping fees, you will need to pay for the Badlands National Park entry fee. You can pay the national park entry fee when you arrive. This will be around $30 per car and you will get a pass that will last for 7 days. See current national park entry fees. If you will be going to at least 3 national parks within a year, then it may be worth considering getting the annual national park pass.
Elsewhere, there is free rustic camping in Badlands National Park in a more remote area of the park for tent campers and small RV campers.
6. When you arrive to the campground, there is no formal check-in process.
You can simply go find the campsite you’ve reserved, and you will see your name on the post of your campsite. So be sure you know what campsite number you’ve reserved!
7. There are campsites with a sheltered picnic table at Cedar Pass campground.
And aside from this shaded picnic table, you won’t get any other shade at your campsite.
8. There is drinking water.
There’s a faucet at the campground where you can fill your water bottles and water jugs.
9. The tent campsites are without electricity, and the RV campsites are with electricity.
10. There are regular toilets.
11. There are showers, but you have to pay extra for it.
There are coin-operated showers at Cedar Pass campground. Be sure to add quarters to your Badlands National Park packing list!
The cost of showers in Badlands National Park at Cedar Pass campground starts at $0.50 for 4 minutes. It costs $1.25 for 10 minutes.
12. There is a designated dish washing sink at the campground to wash your dishes.
13. There is a trash area for campers, along with a recycling area.
14. Be prepared for the HEAT!
The South Dakota badlands can easily be in the 90s or 100s F in the summer.
15. Be prepared for sleeping in cool weather!
Even if it’s 100+ F during the day, it’s possible that it will be in the 50s F at night!
16. There is a night sky program in Badlands National Park, and it’s located at Cedar Pass campground!
Badlands National Park can be a very good spot for star gazing at night.
As the National Park Service notes:
Badlands National Park is a relatively remote park with very little light pollution.
Check to see if there is a park ranger program during your time at Cedar Pass campground!
You can go to the Badlands National Park night sky program whether or not you are staying at the campground. This is free for all. (Or rather, included in your Badlands National Park entry fee.)
Once it’s dark, the park ranger will talk about the night sky.
You may have the chance to look through a telescope to look at a planet or 2. When I was there, the telescope was set up to see Jupiter and 2 of its moons.
It was also recommended to bring binoculars to the night sky program if you have them. You may also consider bringing a red flashlight instead of your normal flashlight too.
The Badlands night sky program is located at the amphitheater. Look for this on your drive into the campground so you know where it is.
It’s reasonable to walk to the Cedar Pass amphitheater from your campsite, but you can drive there too.
And whether or not you attend the park ranger program, be sure to look up at the sky at night! If it’s a clear sky, you will be able to see TONS of stars and maybe even the Milky Way!
And that’s a bit about camping at Cedar Pass campground!
See more camping in Badlands National Park:
HAPPY CAMPING IN BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK!