Badlands National Park
Location: South Dakota, United States
Features: Hiking, camping, bouldering, camping, backpacking
About the Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park is in South Dakota. Its dramatic landscapes span layered rock formations, steep canyons and towering spires. Bison, bighorn sheep and prairie dogs inhabit its sprawling grasslands. Skeletons of three-toed horse and saber-toothed cats are among of the many fossilized species found here. Wildlife abounds in the parks 244,000 acres and can often be seen while hiking and travelling the Badlands Loop Road. Several trails begin near the Ben Reifel Visitor Center.
Camping In The Badlands
Badlands National Park has two campgrounds for overnight visits – Cedar Pass and Sage Creek Campgrounds. Cedar Pass lodge offers accommodations in modern cabins and full-service dining. The Ben Reifel Visitor Center within the park offers a bookstore, special programs, and museum exhibits. The White River Visitors center in the park’s South Unit offers information about the regions Lakota heritage.
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Badlands National Park also preserves the world’s greatest fossil beds of animals from the Oligocene Epoch of the Age of Mammals. The skeletons of ancient camels, three-toed horses, saber-toothed cats and giant rhinoceros-like creatures are among the many fossilized species found here. All fossils, rocks, plants and animals are protected and must remain where you find them.
2. Fascinating and stunning unique landscape.
The Badlands National Park is a wonderland of bizarre, colorful spires and pinnacles, massive buttes and deep gorges. Erosion of the Badlands reveals sedimentary layers of different colors: purple and yellow (shale), tan and gray (sand and gravel), red and orange (iron oxides) and white (volcanic ash).
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3. Enjoy Badlands National Park biological diversity.
It is home to the largest mixed grass prairie in the National Park System and is surrounded by the Buffalo Gap National Grassland. Wildlife roams the park’s boundaries as well. Bison, pronghorn, mule and whitetail deer, prairie dogs, coyotes, butterflies, turtles, snakes, bluebirds, vultures, eagles and hawks are just some of the wildlife that can often be seen by visitors.
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