Just Off the Interstate – Badlands National Park

Photo taken during Spring 2009 Artist-in-Residence in Badlands NP.

Badlands National Park

Continuing with our easy-to-get-to sites in the Great Plains, we come to Interstate 90 runing east-west across South Dakota.  If you’ve read the very first post in this blog, High Plains Drifter, you’ll know that this freeway has a long history with me, and crossing it is something I always look forward to.

Well, right off the freeway, to the east and south of Wall, you have Badlands National Park  – perhaps the crown jewel of all Great Plains parks.  It’s big, impressive, and even enjoys a level of fame not usually associated with other Great Plains sites.  Next time you’re in the area, make sure you stop and experience it.  Here are some things to do in the park:

Badlands National Park


There are only about 20 miles of trails in the park, which is not much considering its size, but off-trail hiking, and camping, is allowed.  Follow these links for more information:

Hiking Trails

Backcountry Hiking and Camping


As with any national park, you’re welcome to bike, but you have to stay on designated roads.  No trail riding is allowed.

Biking in Badlands


Far from city lights, Badlands is an excellent place to view the stars.  The dramatic and sometimes strange scenery of Badlands provides an other-worldly backdrop while your viewing other worlds.  The park offers ranger-led activities in the summer for your astronomical adventures.



About greatplainstrail

Building the Great Plains Trail.
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2 Responses to Just Off the Interstate – Badlands National Park

  1. JunkChuck says:

    On my list for this summer…that and some free water at Wall Drug.

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