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The Travel Well Guide
The Badlands National Park
City: Scenic State: South Dakota Country: USA
Badlands National Park, in southwest South Dakota, United States preserves 244,000 acres (98,740 ha) of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires blended with the largest protected mixed grass prairie in the United States. The Badlands Wilderness protects 64,144 acres (25,958 ha) of the park as a designated wilderness area and is the site of the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret, the most endangered land mammal in North America. The area was a vast tloodplain and the fossils are the remains of animals caught in floods and quickly buried in sedimentary rocks. Over hundreds of thousands of years, the White River carved out a course in the soft rocks, at an average of 2.5 cm (1 in) a year, although at times erosion occurs much more rapidly. The Wall, the sheer cliff that marks the river's course, is continually moving northwards, exposing the harder, older rocks underneath, and leaving an eerie, beautiful land of isolated buttes, ridges, pinnacles and spires behind, particularly in the wind-sculpted forms of the Sage Creek Wilderness Area. This area was used as summer hunting grounds by native Americans for some 11,000 years, and eventually saw some of the most bitter struggles between native Americans and settlers, culminating in the 1890 Sioux Ghost Dances and the massacre of the Lakota at Wounded Knee on 29 December.The Badlands are an area of stunning, if desolate, beauty that must be seen.
Climate | When to Visit
Spring and autumns are the best times for going.
Visit during: April to May
Directions | How to Reach
By road from Sioux Falls.
miscellaneous | Important Information
Dont miss Highway 240 'Badlands Loop Road'.The site of the Wounded Knee massacre is 72 km (45 mi) to the south.