South Dakota Nature February 13, 2020
Walk Through 242,756 Acres Of Rock Formations At South Dakota’s Badlands National Park
If you live in South Dakota, you have probably visited the Badlands more times than you can count, which means the significance of them may have worn off through the years. Agree? While this happens to natives and un-educated visitors alike, it is essential to know the history of this unique area, which includes a whopping 242,756 acres of historical rock formations:
Located in southwest SoDak, Badlands National Park is arguably one of the most unique in America, thanks to both its one-of-a-kind landscape and native wildlife.
Formed by geologic forces of deposition and erosion some 69-million-years ago, the Badlands (and Great Plains) were once covered by an ancient sea that finally retreated, revealing these incredible buttes and pinnacles.
What gives the formations such distinct colors? It is thanks to the previously mentioned erosion, which not only peeled away but revealed sedimentary layers of red and orange (iron oxides), white (volcanic ash), purple and yellow (shale), and gray and tan (gravel and sand).
Long after the Badlands were formed, they proved to be a vital hunting area for Native Americans, with some of the earliest residents inhabiting the pinnacles 11,000+ years ago.
While the Badlands are no longer used for hunting and gathering, there is still plenty to do during your visit to this rocky 242,756-acre wonderland, including camping, landscape and wildlife photography, driving the famous Loop Road, and hiking.
Speaking of hiking, no matter your experience level, you are guaranteed to find the perfect trail for you, as the Badlands offer 5 trails ranging from an easy 0.7 miles to a more grueling 14.6 miles.
Badlands National Park is open year-round, with an entrance fee of $35 per private vehicle (which is valid for 7 days).
For more information on the Badlands and current weather conditions, please visit the National Park Service's
Do you have another historic SoDak area that you would like us to showcase?
Tell us about it here. To learn more about the Badlands, check out these 9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Visiting South Dakota’s Badlands National Park. Address: Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA