"Awesome Badlands National Park!" Top 5 Page for this destination Badlands National Park by Bwana_Brown
Badlands National Park Travel Guide: 148 reviews and 414 photos
On the long Labour Day weekend of 2008, my wife and I decided to add my Friday birthday to it, giving us a four-day extravaganza that would enable us to make the long drive from Saskatchewan, Canada to South Dakota. One of our main reasons for making the trip was to see Badlands National Park, reported to be one of the most scenic of the parks and yet hardly ever heard of.
It took us a day to drive the 930-km required to reach the area, another day to explore Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, take an 1880's era train ride and then explore the Crazy Horse Memorial. That just left us one day to check out what Badlands National Park had to offer before returning home the next day. It may have been a short visit, but it certainly was enjoyable as we were fortunate to have beautiful sunny weather for our cruise through its 'North Unit'. Why not come along on our drive as I take you through it step by step?
This Google map gives an overview of Badlands National Park at bottom-right, along with the 'pink' driving route from our accommodations located at Hill City in the Black Hills. What is now the 'North Unit' of the park (the large area toward the east) started out as the Badlands National Monument in 1939. In 1976, an agreement was made with the local Sioux Nation to include their lands as well (the attached green area at the bottom of the map) as the 'South Unit'. This expansion led to Badlands finally being designated as a National Park in 1978, with the Sioux still administering their portion of the Park. Today, the South Unit continues to be somewhat underdeveloped with limited access via unpaved roads, leaving the North Unit as the major tourist draw. Since our time was short, we kept our visit down to just the North Unit.
- Pros:Totally amazing scenery, and lots of it!
- Cons:Sort of in the middle of nowhere - but that can be good too
- In a nutshell:A great National Park, much better than I expected
The park had one final surprise in store for us as we approached Big Badlands Overlook and the Northeast Entrance (or... more travel advice
Our visit to Badlands National Park was more of a 'flying visit' than anything, but we hoped to be able to at least... more travel advice
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