5 Reasons to Visit South Dakota’s Badlands National Park


1. You’ll be greeted on your way in.


2. As if those prairie dogs weren’t cute enough, the wildlife gets even better once you get inside the park. The best part is that I had actually been INSIDE that port-a-potty building mere minutes before we snapped this picture from the top of a nearby hill.

3. You’ll see amazing proof of Mother Nature at work through erosion. Here:

And here:

4. The wind and the sky do cool things. The wind:

The sky:

5. You’ll also find proof that other people have visited the otherwise deserted terrain before you:

After putting two and two together, Shane and I realized we KNEW the person responsible for this rock arrangement that we discovered in the middle of nowhere in the park. No joke. We were chatting one afternoon not too long prior to our visit to the Badlands with a fellow hiker and camper in a different area of South Dakota. The man lived with his dog named Gala in their mobile home. It was this kind guy who had insisted we get over to the Badlands as soon as possible, emphasizing that no visit to South Dakota can be complete without a visit to Badlands National Park. He was one of those people you like right away when you have the pleasure of meeting them on the road– the sort of person from whom the kindness and sincerity just emanate from within. Everyone who knows me can tell you I am obsessed with Ruby, but believe me when I tell you this man we met in South Dakota was so devoted to Gala, his travel companion. He calls his dog Gala, he said, because she has been his lifelong companion whose personality has always been that of a “party girl.” She’s always ready for the next on-the-road adventure. The rock monument to Gala proves that a dog is not only “man’s best friend,” but also that people love their canine companions enough to toil for them in the middle of the wilderness in order to construct a shrine.

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  1. Valle de La Luna in Chile’s Atacama Desert | SavvyCitiZen - August 7, 2013

    […] Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon) reminded me of Badlands National Park in South Dakota. […]

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