The Badlands - Daylight, Sunset & Night Sky


Tour Number

Activity Level



Youth and Family, Nature and Wildlife, Day Trip / Out of Town, After Dark


Kid Friendly: Yes. Families with small children must provide car seats if needed.

Friendly: No.
Guests with mobility issues may be take the tour as long as they are able to enter and exit the vehicle with assistance.

Maximum travelers: 3



English (fluent)

Feel the Magic of Nature's Eternal Cycle.

This is a tour for those who yearn to immerse themselves in the natural cycle that defines our day while in place of unique beauty. The Badlands are mysterious and inspiring by daylight and mystical by moonlight and starlight. Now you can experience both in the same trip! This trip starts in broad daylight and ends when the night rules the sky. This tour is highly customizable to meet your wishes and varies with the changing cycles of the setting sun. Since the park is free of air pollution and light pollution the sky is clear and dark, making it a perfect canvas for the beauties of the heavens.

We start about 5 hours before sunset to travel to the Badlands of Dakota and view its natural beauty by the light of day. At sunset we watch the spectacle of the setting sun and the ever- changing light show in the western sky. Then we stay for the darkening sky to reveal the splendor of the moon and stars in a dark and clear sky of Badlands National Park.


This tour is easily customized to accommodate your wishes.

1)Short visit to the Museum of Geology at the SD School of Mines & Technology. this is the research institution that gives us our understanding of the Badlands geology and paleontology;

2) Drive to the southern side of Badlands National Park and visit Sheep Mountain Table. This is a remote area of gravel roads, little traffic and almost no human company;

3) Drive to the east side of Badlands National Park to begin the tour of the Badlands Scenic Byway with the guest's choice of hiking, Visitor Center, wildlife, and photography;

4) We watch the sunset at the Pinnacles Overlook and then drive to other locations as the sky darkens;

5) View the night sky from a remote location;

6) Return to lodging.

Meeting Location + Tour Duration

Meeting location: I pick up and drop off guests at all lodging and camping establishments in the Rapid City, Keystone & Hill City area. A meeting place can be arranged or an additional fee can be negotiated for guests staying in outlying areas.

End location: Your Rapid City, Keystone or Hill City lodging or camping facility or special arrangements made as above.

Duration: 9 hours

This tour has a highly flexible start time in the summer months when the days are long. I suggest we leave between 1 & 2 pm when daylight is abundant. During the winter months I suggest we leave no later than 12 noon.


This tour is conducted in a 2011 Honda Pilot SUV Touring Edition or 2004 Dodge Sprinter touring van. Both vehicles are air-conditioned and offer comfortable rides and large windows.

What’s Included

Other: All transportation, admissions, narration, interpretive services, healthy snacks, juice, bottled still-water.

Estimated Local Cash Needed

15 USD - Guests supply their own food at a local restaurant or we can bring picnic supplies. In addition funds will be needed for souvenirs and other purchases.

What’s Extra

Other: Extra guests may be added (up to a maximum of 9 total) may be added. Contact guide for details.

A Recent Review of this tour

Extensive local knowledge made this an excellent way to see the Badlands. Best seen as sun sets and plenty stops at points of interest and beauty. Nice touch with water and snacks.
Richard Harrod

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Private tour guide John

Contact this Guide

Questions about the tour? Not seeing exactly what you’re looking for? Contact this guide with questions, or to create a custom itinerary for you and your travel companions.

Message John E.

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