Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park was the first national park on our road trip through the United States. It is situated in South Dakota and is easily accessible from the I90. We actually ended up driving through it along our road trip and spent most of an afternoon there. The park has hiking and camping options but most of it you are able to see from the road that runs through it. There are plenty of pullovers to stop for photos of this gorgeous scenery.
Hiking in Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park has some impressive scenery. It is made up of a different layers of rock. These have eroded at different rates and this has led to the formation of all the canyons and spires. The park is also home to prairie dogs, big horn sheep and bison.
There are a number of hiking options available in Badlands National Park. They range from easy hikes on paved boardwalks to more strenuous hikes up rope ladders and along canyon walls. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend in the park so opted for the Notch Trail. It is a moderately strenuous hike that goes up a rope/log ladder before taking you to a spectacular view of the rest of the park. It is a 2.4km round trip, depending on where you parked your car. The footing is loose sand/rock in some areas and the rope ladder is a bit shaky, but overall it is not a difficult trail.
America the Beautiful Pass
Badlands National Park was the first national park we had the pleasure of visiting in the USA. This is also where we bought our America the Beautiful Pass. The America the Beautiful pass is an absolute must if you plan on visiting more than 2 National Parks in the USA. It costs $80 and allows you entry into all the national parks in the USA. You can purchase the pass online (for a delivery and service fee) or from the entrance at any National Park. I would advise phoning ahead to make sure they have them in stock.
Have you visited any national parks in the USA? We have loved exploring 14 of them through our travels the past few months. One of our most memorable was visiting Yosemite National Park in California – undoubtedly one of America’s most popular parks!
11 thoughts on “Badlands National Park”
I love those prairie dogs – so cute! Badlands is infamous in the UK but I think this is the first time I’ve seen pictures of it – stunning!
Never been here but it looks great! We were talking about doing a road trip across the US so will keep this in mind. The mountains look gorgeous. And that picture of you two in front of the prairie dog statue is hilarious!
We love America’s National Parks. Just yesterday we were at the National Mall in DC for Veteran’s Day. How strange that you picked Badlands for the first park to visit. It must have been for some kind of great circle route through the western parks. Love how you took advantage of the America the Beautiful Pass.
The scenery is so beautiful and I would love to go hiking in the Badlands National Park. The canyon is spectacular! The wild life in the canyon is very cute as well, It’s fantastic that you got so close to the prairie dogs.
I’ve only been to the Grand Canyon and I need to visit more Parks. Your pictures are so beautiful. I bet it was a wonderful experience.
I’ve never heard of the Badlands National Park! But then again, I’ve never been to South Dakota neither. 🙂 If my wife and I ever visit South Dakota (Mount Rushmore is on my bucket list!), we’d definitely want to go hiking there. Back in 2013, we went to several National Parks in California, Utah and Nevada during our 2 months road trip around the western part of the US, and really loved Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, and Zion! But we didn’t buy the pass you mentioned here (did it exist back then?)
the Badlands National park looks literally out of this world. I would have never thought this was in the USA. Love the name too, so badass haha! The USA has some amazing National Parks. Would love to visit them all.
Hey! I’m still waiting for my first time to visit USA but the national parks are piling up on my list. Your items is certainly a must. However even less visited Badlands looks amazing in your fotos. I can’t imagine you made it to 14 parks already!
I am taken away by those natural rock formations in Badlands National Park. They look shaded and amazing. I am sure trekking would be super fun here. Wow! You have made to 14 National Parks. That is really awesome.
How adorable are those prairie dogs! And the horned sheep as well 🙂 This landscape is stunning! Exploring this park would be such an adventure. The photo opportunities I can imagine are just endless, too!
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