South Dakota offers the most sites in the US for any visitor in the area. Understandably, each individual has their schedule and cannot be anywhere. Hence, planning ahead and deciding what is worth seeing and what is not is advised.
The Badlands National Park is worth seeing! The park has beautiful geographical formations like canons, spires, and more. Moreover, it hosts various wildlife, including several animals, unique plants, and flowers. It is the perfect hike, camping, or scenic drive spot.
For more information about the Badlands National Park, please continue reading.
The Badlands National Park
The Badlands National Park is located in southwestern South Dakota in the United States. The park covers an area of about 244,000 acres and features unique geological formations, such as layered rock formations, canyons, and spires, that have been eroded over millions of years. The park has various wildlife, including bison, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, coyotes, and prairie dogs.
One of the most popular features of the Badlands National Park is the Badlands Loop Road. This 31-mile scenic drive takes you through some of the park’s most stunning geological formations and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
The park is also known for its unique paleontological resources, with fossil evidence of ancient mammals discovered in the area as rhinoceroses, horses, and camels.
Watch this Youtube video for a virtual tour of the park.
How To Get To The Badlands National Park?
We may go on about everything the park offers and sing its praises, but what good is it when you need guidance about how to get there? Below we have discussed all the modes of transportation that you may take to get here.
Here are some ways to get to the park:
The most convenient way to get to the Badlands National Park is by car. The park is about an hour’s drive east of Rapid City and can be accessed via Interstate 90 or Highway 240.
If you are flying in from a different state or country, the nearest major airport to the Badlands National Park is the Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP), which is served by several major airlines. You can rent a car from the airport, drive to the park, or take a shuttle or taxi.
Greyhound’s most widely known bus service operates in Rapid City, the nearest major city to the Badlands National Park. You can rent a car or take a shuttle to the park. However, other bus services and tour bus rides also take you to the park. If you live in a hotel nearby, contact the hotel management to figure out the details.
The closest Amtrak station to the Badlands National Park is Alliance, Nebraska, about 80 miles southwest of the park. You can rent a car or take a shuttle to the park from there. Getting to the park by train is the most inconvenient method of transportation, and we would not recommend it in comparison to the three methods discussed above.
Are The Badlands Worth Seeing?
Yes, the Badlands National Park is worth seeing! It is a unique and beautiful place that caters to every person; whether you’re a nature lover, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply someone looking to experience something new and different, the Badlands National Park has something for everyone.
The park features unique and stunning geological formations unlike anything else. The layered rock formations, canyons, and spires that have been eroded over millions of years create a dramatic and otherworldly landscape that is truly awe-inspiring.
The Badlands National Park is home to various wildlife, including bison, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, coyotes, and prairie dogs. Moreover, the expansive landscape can be explored, and unique flowers and plants can also be found here.
Hiking, camping, scenic drives, and wildlife viewing are some of the most common activities people indulge in at the park. The park’s essence is how much it immerses people in nature.
Who does not love a drive with views that fire your soul and are a feast for your eyes? The Badlands Loop Road, a 31-mile scenic drive, is the perfect place for such an experience. It winds past the formations and gives you a panoramic view of the park. If you enjoy taking pictures, this is your time to shine!
Things To Do At The Badlands
Let us look at what you must do at the Badlands National Park.
As we mentioned before, one of the most popular features of the Badlands is The Badlands Loop Road. It is a scenic drive that gives you a panoramic view of the park and its landscape.
Some people here appreciate a place where physical activity is involved. For them, the park offers a variety of hiking trails. Do not worry if you are not one of those; some hiking trails are easier than others and require walking only.
We talked about the wildlife in the park. You can sit and observe the range of animals that are present here.
You can turn your visit into a camping trip! The park has two campgrounds, Cedar Pass Campground and Sage Creek Campground, where you can camp and enjoy the park overnight.
The park offers a variety of ranger-led programs, including guided hikes, wildlife talks, and evening programs.
You can look for some remains and turn them into a fun activity. You can also spot the area where evidence of older life has been found. There is fossil evidence of ancient mammals such as rhinoceroses, horses, and camels discovered in the area. The Fossil Preparation Lab is the place to check out!
The Badlands National Park is a designated International Dark Sky Park, making it an excellent place for stargazing.
Visiting the Badlands is not something you should be having second thoughts about. We urge you to visit whenever you are in the area. You will experience everything we have discussed here first-hand and realize it is all worth it!