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badlands ntl park, sd

Mud balls, mud hikes, mud hills. So much squishiness. And look how green it is! We can’t decide if the Badlands National Park is more like Custer State Park or Cathedral Gorge State Park. We know we say this after every National Park we go to. But for reals this time. The Badlands National Park is our favorite! It’s the ultimate space of wonder.

Every direction you turn, there’s something different. You’ll see wild roaming buffalo for days. They might even kick up some dust as they stampede alongside your vehicle. You’ll see more prairie dogs than you ever knew existed. And they’re cute as all get out when they peek out of their holes, look around and talk to each other. You’ll see bighorn sheep soaking up the sun and you might even hear snakes rustling through the grasses (Meagan has incredible speed when that happens!).

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When you walk along the otherworldly landscape, give it a good jump test. It’s bouncy! And then look across the way and you’ll see rolling plains, eroded buttes, and spires that make you feel like you’re on another planet. It’s the most diverse landscape you’ll experience anywhere. When you visit the Badlands National Park, be sure to take good hiking shoes and hit the trails for some incredible exploring! Let your kids get down on their knees and play in the mud, search for turtles and chase butterflies. Watch the bisons roam free and soak up the majestic beauty of the anything-but-ordinary Badlands landscape.

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The Badlands Loop Road is your best starting point. If you can time your day to start at sunrise or finish at sunset, you’ll be amazed at the colors along the skyline and might even get to do some stargazing. Star light, star bright takes on new meaning at the Badlands National Park. They sparkle bigger and brighter than we’ve ever seen!

Being bad never looked so good! The Badlands National Park tops our favorites list and it won’t be long before we head back there for another visit.