Nature is renowned for its amazing creations many of which have left experts with loads of things to study for years. Fjords, volcanoes, and waterfalls may be interesting, but rock formations are arguably the most impressive natural creations. With just water, wind, and time, the earth swings into action and spends millions of years crafting structures that baffle the most professionally advanced humans. Many of them are now being protected in National Parks around the world and one of the best parks to take a look at these unique rock formations is Badlands National Park in South Dakota. The magnificence of the park's landscape makes one wonder if humans were not involved in such a wonder. Again, it's all nature's handwork and while the views alone are impressive, there are lots of other things that can be done in this unique park, and here are some of the most exciting.
10 See The Wildlife
Badlands national park is home to a good amount of wildlife. Prairie dogs and bighorn sheep are some of the most popular wildlife to see easily in the park but the most impressive one to watch out for here is America’s national mammal - The Bison. Visitors who are lucky and observant enough can also catch views of Elks, black-footed ferrets, pronghorn, and Prairie Rattlesnakes as well as different species of birds.
9 Enjoy The Views At Pinnacles Overlook
Pinnacles overlook is one of the most scenic overlooks in Badlands National Park. This elevated viewpoint is the perfect place to get a detailed view of the uniqueness of this landscape. Those visiting at sunrise will get to see the sun lighting up the stunning rock formations while at sunsets, the colors are mesmerizing.
8 See The Park From More Overlooks
The most appealing feature of Badlands national park is the views of the unique landscape. But one overlook does not reveal the entire beauty of the landscape which is why there are many overlooks in the park to offer different views of the area. Big Badlands Overlook is one of the park’s most scenic places to watch the sunset and also see the unique landscape but other overlooks not to miss out on include - Badlands wilderness overlook, White River Valley Overlook, and Hay Butte Overlook.
7 Explore The Park On Horseback
Horseback riding is an exciting thing to do especially in a unique place such as Badlands National Park. The park does not have any horse rental to offer this experience but visitors are allowed to bring in their horses and explore the park-like cowboys. Horseback riding is allowed in all areas of the park excluding roads, highways, and marked trails. Visitors are also free to camp with their horses at Sage Creek Campground as the campground provides facilities to keep the horse comfortable.
6 Hike The Park’s Trails
The trails at Badlands National Park offer great opportunities to get a more detailed exploration of the uniqueness of this natural wonder. Notch Trail - the park’s best hike takes visitors less than 2 miles through a canyon that consists of buttes, spires, and a wooden ladder that rises approximately 50 feet to a stunning viewpoint of the unique landscape. Castle Trial - the park’s longest trail is another scenic hike to take in Badlands as it offers views of beautiful prairie grass and the unique natural rock formations of the park. More trails to explore in the park include - the Fossil trail, Dorr trail, and Saddle Pass Trail.
5 Take A Scenic Drive On Sage Creek Rim Road
Driving Sage Creek Rim road is the best way to see Badlands National Parks on wheels. The ride takes visitors through the most beautiful parts of the wilderness and offers the opportunity to see some of the park’s best overlooks. On the way, there will also be lots of wildlife viewing opportunities as well as lots of scenery.
4 View Sunrise And Sunset
It's amazing how the scenery at Badlands National Park can change at different times of the day. While mid-day is a wonderful time to get a detailed view of the landscape, sunrise, and sunsets add more unique colors to the rocks and the stunning landscape. Visitors can enjoy these magic views from all the overlooks in the park; however Big Badlands Overlook offers the best views of sunrises while Pinnacle Overlook offers the best views of sunsets.
3 Camp In The Park
A night spent camping in Badlands National Park is one of the most peaceful experiences one can have. It is an opportunity to see the beautiful skies and get first-hand views of the sunrise. For more luxurious camping with lots of amenities and amazing views of the unique rock formations, the Cedar Pass Campground is the place to head to. This campground features 96 campsites with accommodation for RVs and amenities ranging from electricity hookups to cabin rentals, flushing toilets, picnic tables, and drinking.
For a more natural camping experience, the Sage Creek campground is best suited for that. Without many amenities, the campground is a regular spot for some of the park's wildlife including the magnificent Bison. Campgrounds are also located nearby to give campers more options.
2 Take A Bicycle Tour Of The Park
There are paved paths and dirt roads in Badlands National Parks where visitors are allowed to ride their bikes. This is a great way to explore the park as it is more flexible than vehicles and faster than hiking.
1 Ride Loop Road
The loop road is a beautifully designed curved road that runs through landscapes of beautiful grasses and impressive rock formations. Unlike the Sage Crim Rig Road, Loop road is neatly paved and there are many stops and overlooks along the way. The Pinnacles Overlook and Burns Basin Overlook is some of the best stops to make along this road.