What Happens When You Visit Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park (South Dakota) is like nowhere else on earth.

In Badlands, you will wake up very early to see pretty colors.


The Lara Croft / Indiana Jones inside you will come to life.

You will see the road, the real American road, for the first time.


You will get a flat tire after 15 miles of driving on a dirt road, receive help from everyone at the campground and see a rainbow when it has been fixed.

You will admire endangered species like the bighorn sheep.

And you will fall in love with rebounding species like the prairie dog.

You will hike until it’s dark to hear what silence really sounds like.

You will visit WALL DRUG and get a 5 cents coffee and a donut, because you will have seen hundreds of signs advertising it on the road in a radius of 300 miles around it. And you will travel 40 years back in time.


You will redefine your expectations about wine and wine bottle design.

We really LOVED Badlands, despite our flat tire. We camped at both the dry free campsite at Sage Creek (beware of the road getting there, it’s terrible!) and the paid campsite with facilities at Cedar Pass Lodge ($23, but four some reason we got discounted at around $11, so I’d advise going there instead of Sage Creek). In Badlands, it’s mandatory to visit the different features and viewpoints very early or late in the afternoon and to stay under the shade during the day.

2 Replies to “What Happens When You Visit Badlands National Park”

  1. I have just seen on FB about a beautiful 50 feet high metal statue called Dignity, near by Chamberlain in SD overlooking the Missouri river, it honors the Lakota and Dakota people who are indigenous to South Dakota. I think it’s worth it to go and see it, if you’re still in the surroundings. I know I will.

    1. Merci béa! We’re already in Idaho… I take note for future trip to eastern SD. We were only able to visit Western SD this time!

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