The Good and the Bad of Badlands
With a name like 'badlands', you might expect a completely desolate area with no notable beauty or interest. That's at least what we thought when we began our long haul in our RV across the Great Plains. Its true what they say, North Dakota is a very long way from wherever you are. It took us almost two days of straight driving through flat plains to get to the park, so we weren't expecting much in the way of visual interest.
Boy were we wrong! This park, that inspired Teddy Rooselvelt to protect the western lands, is anything but 'bad'. We were surprised and delighted by the immense amount of geographical differences throughout the park as well as the overwhelming wildlife! Here are the things we loved about this incredible park...
Miles of Hoodoos, Mini Canyons and Rock Formations
Are we in Utah?!?! We couldn't believe that this park has some of the most interesting geographical elements, very similar to parks that are hundreds, if not 1000 miles south. It was so incredible to spend 8 hours driving with nothing but flatlands to feast our eyes upon and then we come upon this ... Incredible! We were esctatic to say the least!
Texture, Texture Texture!
If you are like us, you love contrasting textures, this place is a photographer's dream! Kinda crazy to be so close to the Canadian border yet have so many crunchy, crispy desert elements to enjoy. We probably took a gazillion pics, and you can see why...
Incredible & Colorful Vistas Galore!
Seriously...where are we? Is this for real?!?! One park of the park feels like we are on Mars and then the next part feels like we are in some secret mountain range in Peru!! The amazing banded and colorful stripes cutting the landscape was just too much for our little hearts to take! Seriously took our breath away.
Buffalos, Rams and Prairie Dogs Oh My!
Another unexpected surprise was the amount of wildlife that just appeared everywhere on our hikes! It was truly incredible to have a buffalo walk right up to us or see juevenile rams cross the road right in front of us. It was magical!
Ok, so what's the bad?
Honestly, nothing was especially bad about the badlands, however, there are some things that are a bit uncomfortable. We we were lucky enough to be there at a great time of year before summer really set in. But what we didn't have in heat, we had in WIND!!! OMG, the wind at this park is insane, unrelenting and powerful! Alex had to buy a beanie because her ears kept getting wind burn on our hikes! So if you can prepare for the wind, and make sure you are clothed appropriately, you will be the most comfortable.
The only other thing that makes this park super inconvenient is how far it is away from EVERYTHING! We are talking, the middle of nowhere! So make sure you have all the survival supplies you need: Full tanks of gas, propane, water, food and anything else you cannot live without! Luckily, we kinda new this before we got on our journey so we were prepared and had a great time!
So when are you going to Badlands National Park?