The Badlands National Park is made up of 244,000 acres of geological deposits that appear to be otherworldly sandcastles plopped on top of each other. The striking, richly striped mounds once hosted ancient mammals: rhino, horse, and saber-toothed cat. Now, bison, bighorn sheep (we saw some!), prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets live on the mixed-grass prairie.
If you don’t have a National Park pass, it’ll cost you $15 to drive through in your car. And dogs are prohibited on the trails. We managed to walk the bark babies off the trail, away from the crowds, a couple of times.
We didn’t have much time, so this was a quick stop before we left the Rapid City area for Milwaukee. When we’re back next year, I’d love to take one of the ranger-led programs or participate in one of the free paleontology lab.