Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sep 21 – To Badlands National Park

Yesterday was sunny but cold and very windy. We had seen everything on our must see list in the Black Hill so we took a day off.

Today we drove to the Cedar Pass Campground inside Badlands National Park. I was worried that we would have no internet here but Verizon came through again.

Click to to a map of our drive

On the way we passed Wall, South Dakota home of the famous Wall Drugs Store. It seems like every mile for 100 miles on either side of it there are billboards telling you to stop in. It grew from a simple drugstore offering free ice water to travelers in the 30’s to a block sized complex of stores. Even knowing it was a huge tourist trap, all the blogs I read had talked about it so we had stop stop. Even mid week in late September it was busy.



I had read and we had heard from several people that going to the Badlands after Yellowstone might be a bit of a letdown. It might not have the colour but all the different formations are just fascinating. We had only planned to stay one night but changed our minds and will stay two so we can really check this place out tomorrow.

After we entered the park with the RV we stopped at the first viewpoint. This greeted us.


But the view …


This convinced us that we had to stay longer. Now rather than trying to fit the RV into all the viewpoint parking lots we went straight to the campground knowing we would be back tomorrow with the CRV. We also checked the weather to make sure it was good (mobile internet is wonderful).


After we dropped the RV at the campsite, we went to the visitor’s center, watched a movie and got more brochures.

We had been told the views are much better when the sun is low in the evening or morning so we went back to the RV, had a nap and around 5 we went out to do a few of the very short hikes.

This is the view from our campsite.


and from above back down to the campground.


First we did the Cliff Shelf Trail with view to the west, back down into the valley.


Next we did the Window Trail to a small notch in the ridge wall with views to the south.


There were a lot of rabbits near the trail. There is a lot of life in this seemingly barren area.


Finally we did a small part of the Door Trail to another viewpoint east.


The trail continues after the boardwalk for a 1 km loop out into the badlands. There are just yellow posts to follow every once in a while.


A sign said to be careful as a lot of people get lost here. Since the sun was getting low we decided this could wait until tomorrow.

Back to the RV and a final shot of the view.


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