Badlands – South Dakota

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Date of Visits: July 2009 and July 2015

How we got there: Drove from Minneapolis, 7.5 hours (2009), Drove from Wind Cave NP, 2 hours (2015)

Lodging: Big Sky Lodge, Rapid City, SD

Favorites:

  • Notch Trail: 1.5 miles out-and-back. Hike through a dry canyon and up a log ladder to a panoramic view.
  • Window Trail lookout point: Short boardwalk to an overview of the colorful eastern Badlands.
  • Badlands Loop Road: Scenic drive with multiple overlooks, Pinnacles Overlook has the most dramatic view.

Tips: Sage Creek Road is a good back entrance when arriving from the Black Hills area. It’s less traveled than Badlands Loop Road and we saw more wildlife along it.

Next time: Visit Sheep Mountain Table, hike Castle Trail.

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