Feeding Prairie Dogs At The Badlands Ranch Store
- Date Visited: August 28, 2020
- Address: 21190 SD-240, Philip, SD 57567
- Phone: (605) 433-5477
- Hours: Daily 8 AM-6 PM Late May through mid September
So if you ever wanted to feed prairie dogs this little tourist trap is exactly the place you want to stop.
Located just minutes from the Interior Entrance of Badlands National Park you will pass the Badlands Ranch Store on your way in or out of the park. The little store sells some cold drinks, snacks and all your basic souvenirs. What you really want to purchase though is the little bag of peanuts for a buck.
Grab your nuts and head out to the fenced area beside the store and be greeted by dozens of hungry little prairie dogs. The store has been at this location since 1971 and so has the large colony of prairie dogs. You can walk among the dogs and toss them one of your unsalted peanuts as a snack. If your feeling really brave try feeding them by hand. We didn’t have any luck with this method, but some peeps we saw there did.
If feeding prairie dogs ain’t your thing (they have been known to carry the bubonic plague) there is another reason to stop. A 6 ton concrete Prairie Dog stands guard at the stores entrance. The giant statue was built by Harold Zundel and placed at the store’s original location on July 1, 1959. This concrete behemoth made the move when the store did so he could continue watching over the colony.
If driving by I highly recommend taking the time to stop. Even if you don’t want to feed the prairie dogs it’s free to walk among them. While seeing prairie dogs is quite common while visiting the area you can’t usually get this close without them fleeing to safety. Plus the giant concrete prairie dog statue makes a great photo-op.