Happy 40th birthday, Badlands National Park! This South Dakota park was established on this day in 1978, and it’s anything but bad. Long before it was a park, the Badlands’ rugged beauty has drawn visitors from around the world. These striking geologic deposits contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Today, the park’s 244,000 acres protect an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets live. Photo by William Green (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The best part of camping at Badlands National Park in South Dakota is waking up in time to see the sunrise. The colorful rock formations – carved by wind and water over thousands of years – catch the glowing light of daybreak and display their rugged beauty. It’s a great way to start off the day before exploring ancient fossil beds and taking pictures of bighorn sheep and bison. Photo by Kevin Huston (www.sharetheexperience.org).
These cute baby bighorn sheep put the baaahhh in Badlands National Park. Among the rugged and colorful South Dakota landscape, bighorn sheep thrive as they scamper over steep rock formations and bound through the grasslands. April through June is the best time to see lambs playing in the park. Photo by Larry McAfee, National Park Service.
Layered rock formations rise like islands in an ocean of fog at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. From golden sunrises to star-filled nights, Badlands offers terrific chances to explore ancient fossil beds, observe a variety of wildlife and learn about the park’s fascinating cultural history. Young visitors, don’t forget to get your Junior Ranger badge! Photo by Barry Castetter (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Bighorn sheep thrive at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Grazing on the grasslands and rambling through the colorful canyons, these nimble animals are always an exciting sight for visitors. Here’s one resting up for the next winter adventure. Photo by Sam Stukel (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The rugged beauty of Badlands National Park in South Dakota is undeniable. From hiking past unique rock formations and fossil beds to watching bison run across the grasslands and the surprise of a swift storm moving in, outdoor adventures abound. Photo by Christina Laws (www.sharetheexperience.org).
There’s more to Badlands National Park than gorgeous scenery. You can see bison and bighorn sheep roaming the grasslands near colorful, jagged rock formations. Rich fossil beds reveal the remains of ancient mammals like saber-toothed cats and rhinos. 244,000 acres of South Dakota badlands will make this one of your favorite national parks. Photo by Shawn Stackhouse (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The wild beauty of the North Dakota badlands inspired a young Theodore Roosevelt to build a ranch and create his personal western getaway near the Little Missouri River. Despite the failure of his attempts to raise cattle, the land enchanted and challenged Roosevelt, forever changing the way he approached life. Visitors to Theodore Roosevelt National Park can experience the unique landscape as Roosevelt did and honor his memory. Photo by Abhilash Itharaju (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The natural beauty of public lands can stop you in your tracks. When you see the amazing landscapes and stunning sunsets at Badlands National Park in South Dakota, you’ll remember it for the rest of your life. Photo by Donna Schneider (www.sharetheexperience.org).
National parks preserve some of the most unique landscapes in America. Visitors to Badlands National Park in South Dakota are often shocked at the sudden appearance of these colorful formations rising out of the surrounding green plains. The rock formations and amazing fossil beds give us important evidence of the dramatic natural history of the area. Just another reason why national parks are great outdoor classrooms! Photo by Andreas Eckert ().