On June 7, 2018 after a 12 hour overnight drive from Springfield, MO we made it to Badlands National Park in South Dakota. We didn’t have high expectations for this stop, because we needed a halfway point to Glacier, but this park definitely surprised us! There are many overlooks, trails, and a scenic drive visitors can utilize to see the park. After looking at the entry overlook, we hiked the notch and door trail, which gave us a great view of the eroded buttes and pinnacles. I wasn’t aware of this prior to our visit to the park, but Badlands is one of the world’s richest fossil beds, and protects 244,000 acres where you may find buffalo, sheep, prairie dogs and even endangered black-footed ferrets.
Above are some of the pictures from our hike and overlooks. The Notch Trail is pictured below.
Driving around on the scenic drive at Badlands, it felt like we were in a huge adult sand castle. My favorite parts of the drive were seeing the wildlife and the yellow mounds, pictured below.
At one of the overlooks we saw seven baby bighorn sheep playing together.
I would definitely recommend sunscreen and water for this park. There are no trees, so you are in direct sunlight. The morning was nice and cool in the 70s, but by the afternoon it was well into the 90s.
After taking in the park, we set up our tent and played some charades. When you camp here, you are literally in the middle of the park and there are no trees or shade, but the badlands are in every direction. There was a small grocery store nearby where we bought sandwich makins. Around 3 am that night, the wind came roaring in, and at one point, Jon and I were taking turns holding up the tent. Nonetheless, it was a great experience and we enjoyed checking out the Badlands. It was a very pleasant surprise.
Before heading to Glacier National Park, we made a quick stop at Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming, since it was on the way. I definitely recommend checking it out if you are in the vicinity.