OK, full disclosure, just a drive-though park, for us at least.

South Dakota’s Badlands National Park, established on 11-10-1978 and covering 244,300 acres in three units, is located not far from I-90 lending itself to a quick visit.  Opting for the backroads route (Route 44) to get to this park from our campground in Blackhawk, SD it took us about an hour and a half to get there in the Jeep.  This route brought us through sections of Buffalo Gap National Grassland and the towns (don’t sneeze, you’ll miss ’em) of Scenic and Interior on our way to the Interior Entrance and the Ben Reifel Visitor Center.

Not sure why, but, neither of us were very interested in exploring this place.  It looked a lot like other parks we experienced in the southwest.  Maybe we were just getting burned out on the park-thing.  Maybe, we’d seen this type of place before and that was enough for us.  Maybe, and unexpectedly, there were just too many people here.  Guess it was a good thing that we had to head back west to get to the campground.

We drove the 39-mile Badlands Loop Road through the North Unit of the park to make our way back to Rapid City, SD via I-90.  A few vistas caught our attention and pried us from the Jeep to stretch our legs and snap a few pics that we will share with you here.

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We exited the park at the Pinnacles Entrance (and exit) and set out find a local brewery in Rapid City, SD.  It turned out to be a decent visit but the beer isn’t going to make it to the favorites list.  Oh well, not every day can be a top-ten-worthy.

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1 thought on “Badlands

  1. JD

    Visiting one park after another does have an effect on each park experience. We visited five (Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, Zion) on one trip in 2016 and had a bit of a let-down in Kings Canyon that I’m sure was just scenic overload from so many big trees. I can only imagine what it would be like on your trip. We had a similar reaction on a subsequent trip including the Badlands–interesting but pales in comparison to Rushmore and the Black Hills. Makes me wonder if that proximity helps or hurts it. It’s probably better experienced approaching from the east after miles and miles of corn and sunflowers than from the west after miles and miles of mountains.

    Liked by 1 person


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