Monday, August 5, 2013

Hiking in the Badlands

From Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills, we adventured to the west.  Although I'd been to the area before, I didn't even know that Badlands National Park existed.  I love the drive out there; I can't get enough of the unending grasslands.  It's worth noting that the "towns" we passed through were virtually ghost towns, so gas up before you leave Rapid City. 

Canyon below the Windows Trail

Along Windows Trail
Formations along the Fossil Exhibit Trail

We approached the park from the south and started our visit at the visitor center.  There we learned that the park has an "open hiking policy," such that the kids can run and climb anywhere they want.  We started at a couple of very short hiking trails just north of the visitor center, then made our way northwest to exit via the park's other major entrance.  There are numerous places to stop, view and hike along the road, and we took advantage of many of them.

Yellow Mounds Overlook

View from Pinnacles Overlook
I've actually heard mixed reviews about this park, but we all loved it.  Hiking / climbing around the formations is a  blast, and the stark beauty is awesome.  We will absolutely return someday!

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