Badlands of South Dakota National Park

Badlands of South Dakota
Badlands of South Dakota

Badlands of South Dakota
Badlands of South Dakota

We really had no idea what to expect when we planned to visit the Badlands of South Dakota National Park. We planned to spend less than a day in the park--knowing that that was probably too little. But something had to give to keep the trip down three weeks.

Badlands formations
Badlands Formations, Badlands of South Dakota National Park

When we arrived in the afternoon, the weather was a mix of sunshine, clouds, and drizzle. The constantly varying weather meant that the light on the Badlands was also constantly changing. The changing light meant that the colors also changed. Adding to the changing colors was the fact that we stayed until dark, so we got the late afternoon light. At times the colors were drab and at other times they were almost too vivid to seem real. Amazing what changing light can do.

Prairie at Badlands National  Park

The Badlands is Prairie--in fact it is the largest protected mixed grass prairie in the United States. The contrast between the flat prairies and the eroded buttes with their spires and pinnacles is amazing. We were blowen away by the beauty of the place and realized that we had allocated way too little time for our visit. All we could do was stay until it got too dark to see anything.

Spires in Badlands
Spires in Badlands National Park

We were a bit concerned when we saw a sign saying be aware of rattle snakes on one of the short hikes we took. But we didn't see any snakes.

Spires in Badlands Badlands of South Dakota Badlands of South Dakota