Trust The Trail Meetups
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Date(s) - 09/17/2020 - 09/20/2020

Wall SD, Wall South Dakota

Wall SD


Come out to the Badlands National Park for an event that will something truly different and unique! Hang out with us as we Camp, Hike and Backpack different routes within the Badlands.  We will be parked at the edge of the Badlands in the Bureau of Land Management Area looking outward with vista views of the entire Badlands Park. Bring your tents or camper van and chose from 1 or ALL 3 options. BLM land means FREE Camping. Car, RV or just a Tent, it doesn’t matter. It’s FREE!

Options include: Just camping and hanging out with us at our Airstream and just take in the unbelievable views. We’ll do some good ‘ol fashion South Dakota cooking at night and just enjoy getting to know one another in-person. During the days, there is the option to go for a hike and explore the best of the Badlands. If preferred, blaze your own trail and climb on some of the Badlands Buttes and hills nearby. We will take a few adventure seekers on Day Hikes and/or an Overnight Backpacking trip to one of the most interesting places in the Badlands. The backpacking trip takes you through hiking within the grass lands to spending the night up high, on an “oasis on a hill” where lush green growth and high brush will give you a amazing view of the Badlands. Bighorn and buffalo sightings are likely.

We will be parked on the edge of the park for an entire week. This area is called “The Wall”. The views from “The Wall” are extraordinary – you can see for miles into the Badlands area! Be sure to bring your binoculars so you can get a better look into the landscape and wildlife in the Badlands area. THIS IS A FREE EVENT. For those who want to come out and enjoy the Badlands in a “backcountry” kind of way, we would love for you to come!

This will be a leisurely event with ample time spent in the Badlands nearby area and The Badlands National Park. You are FREE to navigate and do what ever you want. Please remain respectful of Leave No Trace Principles and area requirements. 

SEPTEMBER 16th - Scott & Ariane arrive on BLM Land to park their Airstream for the week.  You can arrive and camp with us, nearby or anywhere you select. You will have to provide your OWN Tent, Car or RV. 

SEPTEMBER 17th - We welcome all who are coming in for the day and explore the area hiking down into the Badlands. This the OFFICIAL First Night of our Badlands Event. We'll all cook dinner (not provided) and enjoy the quite, peaceful natural beauty of the Badlands. We cannot wait to meet you!

SEPTEMBER 18th - We will enjoy a leisurely morning with a short day hike possibility, as get ready to trek overnight (for those who want to come) into the Badlands. There is NO RUSH, but if plan to arrive in time for our departure later in the day please reach out to us NO LATER THAN THE 13TH TO LET US KNOW, as cell coverage is not anticipated after this. 

We will leave from the Conata Picnic Area and follow the (well-trod) game trail heading west. THIS IS NOT A HIKING TRAIL AS THERE ARE  NO HIKING TRAILS IN THE BADLANDS. We will stay south of multiple buttes for about 2.5-3 miles. Approximately 3 miles into the hike, we will go around a butte and the landscape will open up to our north. We will see a large stand of juniper trees (we will not miss all the green among all the brown) set high up on the side of a hill - this is Deer Haven an Oasis in the Badlands.  There is no water along this route, all water must be packed in for a short 2-day trip. 

Another easily found game trail will carry us up into Deer Haven, or you can choose your own scramble. Once mid-way into the area, we'll begin to see flat, grassy ground, perfect for pitching a tent. Keep in mind that Fires Are Prohibited.

SEPTEMBER 19th - We pack up somewhat early and head back to the Conata Picnic Area to get shuttled back to our Base Camp. The rest of the day will be enjoying time with each other, making new friends and having a blast. That night we will cook and celebrate with some spectacular star gazing in the Badlands. 

The rest of the Event will be yours to do as you choose. Do as you wish, the Badlands is open to all. We hope to meet you all in-person!! 

The Badlands National Park is located in South Dakota. We will enter the park from Wall, SD.  That is the North end of the Park. 

As you plan your gear, please understand this is a vast wide open area with rare to no natural protection. Winds can be harsh, rains or thunderstorms could occur at anytime. Wind can be a real pain in the Badlands, so prepare accordingly. There will be no tree cover. This time of year, temps can get into the 80's for the high and into the 40's at night. You will need:

WATER (there is NO accessible water in the Badlands (unless it rains and we hold out our pots to collect rain water) You need to bring at LEAST ONE to TWO GALLONS OF WATER PER DAY PER PERSON. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS. If you are going backpacking with us on Friday, please plan your water accordingly. 

TENT AND ALL GEAR TO CAMP (think of it as Car Camping in exposed land).

FOOD - Enough Food to either SHARE or enough to provide you with 3-4 days (including your backpacking meals if you go with us).

COOKING GEAR (stove, pots, pans, and a way to clean them). We expect that you respect Leave No Trace Principles.


TRASH BAGS. Pack it in, Pack it OUT!


HAT or head coverage for the harsh sun exposure 


SUMMER CLOTHING (to hike in)





BOOTS  - Make sure you are wearing sturdy boots with good ankle support. The park is home to many burrowing animals. Watch your footing.

WAG BAGS - All refuse must be carried out.  If you have a emergency, then digging a cat hole is permitted, but make sure you bury it deep. 






The Bureau of Land Management maintains the land and is a part of the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands.  This is 100% boondock camping, meaning there are no amenities (e.g., water, electricity) available, so you’ll need to bring whatever you need and pack out your trash when you leave. 

Located about six miles south of Wall, South Dakota on Highway 240, the site is readily accessible and many people probably pass right by it without realizing it’s there as it is located about a mile from the Pinnacle entrance to the Badlands National Park. 

When traveling south on Highway 240 from Wall and I-90, you will see three radio towers up on a hill to the left after about six miles. You may or may not be able to see other recreational vehicles (RVs) camping up on the hill, depending on their location.

Enter the location through a barbed wire gate and dirt road you’ll see from Highway 240. Be sure to close the gate after you enter as it is there to keep in wildlife, such as the herd of bighorn sheep that wander the area.


Our Campsite Location and Your Options

Once you’re in the “The Wall” grasslands area and beyond the gate, you’ll drive up a dirt road. It was dry when we visited and easily passable for all types of recreational vehicles. When we visited, there were only about ten other campers, but any type of RV should be able to make it up the hill and to a campsite comfortably.


When you get to the top of the hill by the radio towers, you have a choice as whether to go left (north) or right (south). GO LEFT, GO LEFT, GO LEFT.  The road winds for a few miles, so there is plenty of room for everyone.

You basically just choose a spot that looks good to you. There are some sites where it is obvious others have camped previously, but you are free to make your own site within a reasonable distance from the road.  There is a grassy area to the left of the road. This is the area in which there is a pond that attracts wildlife. But please don't set up to the left of the pond.  YOU will likely find us HERE. Just look for the 1976 Airstream Argosy. Colors orange and white. 

Please be aware that cell coverage is not guaranteed, and more likely unavailable! If you have questions, concerns or just want to let us know you are coming...PLEASE communicate AHEAD OF TIME. We will most likely be out of cell range and email capability beginning 9/14. 

Think of this as a kind of treasure hunt with no treasure but awesome memories!




Bookings are closed for this event.

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In 2003 I completed a Thru-Hike on the Appalachian Trail. Since then I have over 12,000 miles underfoot and 20 years of backpacking, and camping experience. Certifications include WFA, WFR, LNT Trainer, and belong to AORE. Have been guiding backpacking trips for over 10 years. The outdoors has taught me one thing. Trusting the Trail! really does provide everything a person needs.

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