Thursday, January 17, 2008

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

There are really only two roads in Badlands National Park. One is the loop road that goes through the park and takes you from I90 on one end, back to I90 on the other end. However, I had read about the Rim Road as being the more scenic and also the better chance to see the resident bison.

We had entered the park from the west and the unpaved Rim Road was just off to the right. The information I had on the Rim Road was accurate. We got our first glimpse of the Badlands, off to the east, and they are truly beautiful.

We continued to drive along the Rim Road and yes, we found the bison herd and also prairie dogs. We continued on the Rim Road as far as we could, until it reached a point where a 4 wheel drive vehicle would have been better suited. At that point, unfortunately, we needed to turn around.

Now back onto the loop road, we continued eastward. Each curve in the road, each dip, each rise, brings a new vista. The sun is moving into the west and bringing out the colors in the rocks.

While the park can be visited in one day, as usual we took our time and found ourselves spending the night in Interior, SD, just outside the park, near the visitor’s center. This turned out well as it gave us the opportunity to head back into the park for sunset, another spectacular experience.