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Driving through Badlands National Park, one could easily forget they are in South Dakota, as you realize the scenery looks to be from out of this world!
Located in Interior, South Dakota, Badlands National Park is home to well over 39 mammal species, 9 reptile species, 6 amphibian species, 206 bird species, and 69 butterfly species (per the NPS website).
Whether driving or walking, you are bound to see Turtles, Lizards, Snakes, Pronghorn Elk, Bighorn Sheep, Badgers, Bobcats, Porcupines, Muledeer, Bison, Eagles, as well as hundreds of Prairie Dogs that like to pop their heads and little bodies up out of their many hiding places – and when you least expect it – long enough to get a good view of what is going on around them (while many times standing as still as a statue for a good period of time), and much more!
While driving along the Park’s many winding scenic drives, believe me, it is quite easy to let your imagination run completely wild as you look out over the horizon and see the colorful hills and jagged mountainous peaks rising up from the midst of the earth as though from somewhere other than South Dakota.
You will be amazed at the many different shapes and sizes that make up the vast rugged terrain of the Park which you will surely enjoy for miles around as you walk, hike, or drive through it!
The Parks Yellow Mounds, Chadron Formations, Pierre Shale, Rockyford Ash along with its many fossils you most definitely will at times find to be partially buried in the ground, while at other times can also be found laying right out in the open above the ground (with posted signs near them which read ‘please do not disturb!’).
You will love walking alongside the many protruding walls of the Parks awesome cliffs while taking in the beautiful breathtaking views of its many peaks, making this trip to be quite the adventure, especially for youth or young adults as well as those who may have an interest in paleontology (the study of prehistoric life and fossils) or those who have an avid interest in nature – in general.
There are also plenty of hiking trails and campsites situated throughout the Park for those who would like to stay a bit longer and enjoy the Parks Natural Beauty, Colorful Scenery, and Amazing Wildlife.
Visiting Badlands National Park is a travel trip where you will definitely want to take your time as you are going through it, as you will stay quite busy taking picture after picture of the many otherworldly scenes that continue to pop up unexpectedly before you!
For more information on Badlands National Park, please visit their website at: www.nps.gov/badl
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