Badlands National Park, South Dakota

We left the Rapid City area of South Dakota and headed to Badlands National Park. On the way we stopped at Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota.  It all started with free water in 1936.  You can check out the story.

When we arrived at the Badlands we found a spot in Cedar Pass Campground near the Ben Reifel Visitor Center.  They have electric and non -electric sites.  We chose one without electric for $16 a night.  A bit steep, but it was nice to be right in the park.  We walked to the visitor center and picked up our Junior Ranger Books.  We watched a film on the Badlands and about the plants and animals here.

We took a hike on the Cliff Shelf Nature Trail to learn about the plants and animals.  That evening we attended a program conducted by a ranger right in the campground.  We learned about horns, antlers and how prong horn horns are different from both.  After the presentation they let us look at the moon and Saturn through powerful telescopes.

“I’ve been about the world a lot, and pretty much over our own country,” wrote Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935, “but I was totally unprepared for that revelation called the Dakota Bad Lands…….What I saw gave me an indescribable sense of mysterious elsewhere -a distant architecture, ethereal….an endless supernatural world more spiritual than earth but created out of it.”

The next morning we were up early to go hiking before it got too hot.  We first hiked the Notch Trail.  It was fun climbing the ladder and you could see all the way to the campground from the notch in the rocks.

We then hiked the Window and the Door trails.  The cool thing about this National Park is that you are permitted to climb on the rocks.  Marcus and Caroline took full advantage of this.  As the day grew hotter we had lunch in the camper and headed on our way … Pierre.

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