Badlands NP, SD

A stunning mix of prairie and colorful ranges of constantly eroding hills form this national park. We’ve seen the erosion happening in person. It was raining the first afternoon we went to the park. Badlands hills are comprised of bentonite clay which is extremely erosive and slippery when wet. Thankfully, the rain stopped the next day and the surface dried a bit for us to do some hikes through what seemed like the surface of another planet.

Colorful badlands

Colorful badlands

Yellow Mounds and Badlands

Yellow Mounds and Badlands

Badlands is surrounded by prairie

Badlands is surrounded by prairie

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Prairie and clay

Prairie and clay

Notch Trail is a must if it’s not raining. They call it strenuous, but the only difficult part is going up a hill using a log ladder. You are rewarded with a nice view at the end of the trail, but the walk through the maze of colorful spires and buttes is a lot of fun as well.

Hiking the Notch trail

Hiking the Notch trail

Notch trail view

Notch trail view

Notch trail

Notch trail

The Door trail is a nice walk as well, especially if the ground is dry enough to go beyond the boardwalk.

The end of Door trail

The end of Door trail

A bighorn sheep climbs the Badlands

A bighorn sheep climbs the Badlands

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