|Fantastic Badlands National Park
in South Dakota
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Spectacular view from Big Badlands Overlook along the 32-mile Scenic Loop (Highway-240) in Badlands
National Park in South Dakota
Scary view of a deeply cut canyon from the Windows Overlook through a natural Window in the Badlands Wall.
A view of the Castle on the plains near Cedar Pass Lodge along the Scenic Loop Highway (Route 240) in
Badlands National Park. Here you are down at the bottom looking up at the looming rocks. We toured the
Badlands National Park on August 23, 2008.
In addition to the 32-mile Scenic Loop Highway (Route-240) to enjoy fantastic views, there is also unpaved
Sage Creek Rim Road (Route-44) to see many wildlife in Badlands National Park. We drove about 8 miles on
this Sage Creek Rim Road and saw many bisons (i.e., North American Buffalo) at a distance away as shown
in the following photos:
I zoomed in to get a closer view of one of many massive bisons in Badlands National Park along Sage Creek
I backed off the zoom somewhat to include more bisons in this photo. Many wild buffalo roam free here in
this National Park.
I backed off the zoom entirely in this photo to show very large number of bisons at a distance away
from the Sage Creek Rim Road on flat grassland, which stretches out as far as you can see. There
were probably more herds of bisons to be seen if we drove further west along the Sage Creek Rim
Road. But we turned back (east) to get on the nicely paved Scenic Loop Highway (Route-240) to see
fantastic landscapes in Badlands National Park.
A fantastic view of jagged landscape and pinnacles near Cedar Pass along the Scenic Loop.
People hiking up the steep slope in Badlands
A view of the nice Scenic Loop Highway (Route-240) and the scenery at Norbeck Pass. Multiple jagged peaks
towering above us as the road weaved its way between them.
Hundreds of years ago, it was very difficult for early explorers, pioneers, settlers and even North American
native Indians to traverse this territory because of the exceedingly challenging terrains and the arid climate in
this area. It was not easy to find water in this desert-like dry climate area, and if they found water, it was
white, creamy, muddy water. When people drank such creamy muddy water, the more they drank, the more
thirsty they became. Therefore, this area has been called Badlands because of all these difficulties.
However, with the convenience of modern smooth Scenic Loop Highway (Route-240) shown above, tourists
can drive their cars, carrying many bottles of drinking water, to reach many Overlook Points and Vistas to
enjoy the spectacular views of this fantastic terrains. Therefore, from the viewpoint of modern tourists, the
Badlands National Park should have a nick name of Wonderland National Park.
Some people get up to the top of an Yellow Mound
People coming down from the Yellow Mound
We also saw some female big horn sheep in Badlands National Park. Though it looks like a lifeless place from
a distance, there are indeed living things out there.
Two views from the Cliff Shelf Nature Trail
A close up view of another prairie dog along the Sage Creek Rim Road.
A prairie dog near the Sage Creek Rim Road in Badlands National Park.
A prairie dog in its mound and hole.
A hole (home) in a prairie dog mound.
There are many prairie dogs with many of such prairie dog mounds and holes in several big areas along the
Sage Creek Rim Road. These areas are known as the prairie dog towns.
The Sage Creek Rim Road (Route-44) is unpaved, but is reasonably smooth so that one can drive a regular
car, without 4-wheel drive, on it without difficulty to see many wildlife and spectacular view of badlands. We
were using our new Garmin Nuvi-350 GPS navigator on this 13-day sightseeing driving trip in South Dakota,
North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.
Please see my Travelogue web page at:
regarding our use of GPS navigator to facilitate our sightseeing and wildlife watching trips.
Two more amazing views at Big Badlands Overlook.
Fossil Exhibit Trail takes you on a quarter-mile board walk through an area dense with fossils. It is an easy
hike on a raised boardwalk and is wheelchair accessible. Along the way there are descriptions of some fossils
(placed under plexiglass to keep the elements out). It is an easy walk and a glimpse into the past of Badlands.
It includes fossils of sample large ancient animals such Saber-toothed cat (Dinictis), ancient pig and nearly
elephant-sized Titanotheres, a large land mammal of the Eocene Period.
A view from Ben Reifel Visitor Center (Park Headquarters) of pinnacles and Jagged terrain.
A view at White River Valley Overlook where people can wander along the top of gorges
More spectacular views of Badlands
A black-billed magpie on the picnic table at Cedar Pass Lodge along the Scenic Loop. This is the first time that
I see a magpie. Their habitat is in western part of USA and of Canada.
The lady in the visitor center told us that they have more rain this year relative to that of the average year.
Therefore, this year, we are seeing more green grass and green tree leaves in Badlands as compared to those
in average year.
A picture of me (Sing Lin) enjoying ice
cream bar near Cedar Pass Lodge in
Badlands National Park
We flew from Newark in New Jersey to Rapid City in South Dakota and got a rental car at Rapid City airport
to start this 13-day driving tour from August 22 to September 3, 2008. This 13-day driving tour includes:
(1) Badlands National Park in South Dakota as shown on this web page,
(2) Majestic spires of needle mountains, wildlife in Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore National Memorial
in South Dakota as shown on my Travelogue web page at:
(3) Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota as shown on my Travelogue web page at:
(4) Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming as shown on my Travelogue web page at:
(5) Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming as shown on my Travelogue web page at:
(6) Many wild mustangs along Big Horn Scenic Byway 14, bull moose with huge rack of antlers on Big Horn
Mountains and Devils Tower in Wyoming as shown on my Travelogue web page at:
We also toured Crazy Horse Memorial, Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument in South
Our 13-Day driving tour is a large loop starting and ending at Rapid City in South Dakota, USA. The sequence
of Point of Interest on this large tour loop is the following:
Rapid City in South Dakota --------> Centered at Rapid City for 3 days and toured Mount Rushmore National
Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Badland National Park (NP), needle mountains and wildlife in Custer State
Park, Wind Cave NP, and Jewel Cave National Monument --------> Roosevelt NP South Unit in North Dakota
---------> Roosevelt NP North Unit in North Dakota --------> Drove on I-94 to go west along Yellowstone River
in Montana --------> Cody in Wyoming --------> Tour Yellowstone NP and Grand Teton NP in Wyoming for 4
Days ---------> Drove on Highway 14 to go East to see wild horses and touring Big Horn Mountain Range and
Devil's Tower in Wyoming ---------> Rapid City in South Dakota
A great vista of the Badlands,
How I use information age technologies to enhance my enjoyment greatly of sightseeing large driving tour
loop of thousands of miles and of one to two weeks in duration covering many Points of Interest is described
on my web page at: