Badlands National Park was the first camping stop on Epic Road Trip 2020. (To see more posts from our trip, click HERE!). It was a two day drive to get to this park in South Dakota. We spent two nights near the park, at a KOA campground. The Badlands was a stopover on the way to Grand Teton park. We are in the process of visiting all of the National Parks in the US and this was another magnet for our fridge!
The weather was much cooler than I expected. For this trip I had to pack a wide array of clothes, and I thought this stop would be tank top and shorts, but nope, it was in the upper 60’s. No complaints! The Badlands is a mix of a tiny Bryce park and the moon! It has odd rock formations.
There was a little bit of drizzle and rain on our days there, but not much. We did a few hikes and explored.
Our favorite hike was the Notches trail. It required a climb up a steep ladder! The ladder wasn’t much a problem going up, but it did challenge people going down. Especially those people with inappropriate footwear on. Flip flops and rain boots (for real), I’m looking at you!
Climbing up the ladder lead us to this area of the park.
The trails were mostly all “easy” trails. A few, like the Notches Trail was a bit more difficult due to climbing involved. In general, this park can be toured in a full day. What great scenery! You can see for miles and miles.
We saw a few local animals – our favorite being prairie dogs! They had several towns in the area and it was fun to watch them poke their heads out of the holes and bark at us.
There were also several bison roaming the area. We still aren’t sure what the differences are between bison and buffalo, but we feel it’s a regional thing like “pop” and “soda”!
The most surprising animal at the park was a herd of bighorn sheep which were hanging out on this rock formation. They were strolling around and basking out in the sun. We drove past this area again shortly after and the herd had all left the area!! There was no trace of them.
When you visit, you don’t want to miss the sunset at the Badlands. There were several people watching, taking pictures, and a group of girls with wardrobe changes for a photo session!
Do you see my son in this picture? He’s the tiny black spot on the far left…
After two days, it was time to hit the road again. Next stop, Grand Teton National Park!
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Q: Have you ever been to the Badlands?
Q: Do you have prairie dogs where you live?