Off the Beaten Path: Badlands National Park

After leaving the Grasslands Visitor Center, we headed in to the Badlands.

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We stopped for a picnic in the back of our car before driving along the scenic roadway.  We stopped at about every overlook along the way.  This area is absolutely stunning!  We were just awed by the drastic change from flat prairie lands to the incredible peaks and valleys of the Badlands.  The rocks were so brilliantly colored and like nothing we had seen before.

The only bad part of this stop was that we weren’t able to stay for multiple days and hike or backpack through the rocks.  It was gorgeous, but hot.  Seriously, though, I would love to come back here some day and do an overnight backpacking trek.  Really get in there and explore.  As it was, we did do two short hikes.  The first was a paved hike (walk) with some informational displays.

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The second hike was a trail that went out into the rocks.  This one was more difficult, but really fun.  Unfortunately, we hadn’t planned to hike, so we didn’t have much water with us.  So we only went a short distance before returning to the car, but it was worth it.

Another really fun thing about the Badlands was the wildlife.  We saw buffalo, pronghorn, prairie dogs by the thousands, and a coyote.

The Badlands was definitely one of the most fascinating places I have ever been.  I would love to go back and spend  a lot more time here.  However, for this trip, we were ready for some sleep before another big adventure.

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