About the Site
Badlands National Park  


Park History

Pinnacles Overlook

Overlooks (North)

Overlooks (Central)

Overlooks (South)

Big Badlands Overlook

Door & Window


Cedar Pass Lodge

Cedar Pass Area

Badlands Loop Road

Norbeck Pass

Fossil Exhibit Trail

Cliff Shelf Nature Trail

Other Trails



Overlooks (Central)

Burns Basin Overlook The Burns Basin Overlook is located about halfway between the Pinnacles Overlook and the Cedar Pass area. Located on the south side of the Badlands Loop Road, it provides a view of the rim area, the south section of the prairie, and the Buffalo Gap National Grassland to the south.

This overlook is named for Wilson Burns. He established a sheep operation in the basin below the overlook in the early part of the 20th century.

This area was once relatively rich in water resources.

The basin below the overlook once had a number of home sites.

The area around the Wall features pinnacles and gullies.

Although most of the land and formations along the wall erode at a rate of about 1 inch per year, erosion or rock composed of volcanic ash may occur much more quickly, perhaps as much as 6 inches per year.

For potential visitors, ParkVision recommends "Story Behind the Scenery" guides and "Trails Ilustrated" maps.

Prairie Wind Overlook Located to the east of the Burns Basin Overlook, the Prairie Wind Overlook provides an excellent view of the upper prairie in the park. To the north is Interstate 90, running through sections of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland.

The prairie north of the wall, such as that seen from this overlook, is about 200 feet higher than the grasslands south of it. This overlook features a boardwalk out into the prairie.nThe park preserves a portion of the prairie which was once extensive in this part of the country. Less than 2% of the native prairie which once covered the Great Plains still exists today.

Panorama Point Overlook This overlook is located just west of Bigfoot Pass. It provides a view of the formations along the Wall. White River is off to the south of the overlook.

The south prairie, which is visible from the overlooks including this one along the Wall, are several hundred feet below the prairies north of it.

The Badlands formations, composed of multicolored materials of clay and sand, present shades of green, cream, yellow, pink, and other colors.

It is often very windy at these overlooks. Winds may often blow steadily at about 25 to 35 miles per hour, and gusts may reach 50 miles per hour.

Later in the day shadows cree[ing across the formations provide a spectacular view.

The White River is several miles south of this overlook. These badlands are sometimes known as "The White River Badlands", for this river. It flows into the Missouri River.

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  • All photographs ©Patrick Holleran, Shannon Digital Imaging, 1994-2013

  • Commercial use of the images contained in this document without express written consent is strictly prohibited.

  • Comments and other remarks can be sent via e-mail to parkvision@shannontech.com

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