Badlands National Park Journals

Road trip to South Dakota - Badlands

A July 2001 trip to Badlands National Park by Binky

Badlands at Dusk Photo, Badlands National Park, South Dakota More Photos
Quote: My family and I spent a week at Badlands National Park and the Black Hills region of South Dakota after driving from Detroit. Badlands National Park webpage: http://www.nps.gov/badl/index.htm

Road trip to South Dakota - Badlands

Overview

Badlands at Dusk Photo, Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Quote:
Badlands National Park is a pretty desolate place in a pretty isolated area. The views of the eroded land formations are the main attraction of course. There are some good hiking trails of various lengths and some decent interpretive programs. I liked the night walks at 10pm leaving from the visitors center.

Quick Tips:

Don't stay too long here. One night or two at the most. Make sure you get to some of the interpretive programs. Also, take a detour to the prarie dog town that's a little ways off the main loop road.

Best Way To Get Around:

You need a car or mobile home in this area. Everything is very far apart.

Cedar Pass Campground

Hotel | "Cedar Pass Lodge"

Quote:
Cedar Pass Lodge is located inside Badlands National Park, right next to the Visitor''s Center. It''s not really a "lodge" but a collection of cabins located behind the gift shop/restaurant. We stayed at the "Cottage" which had enough beds for 6 adults. We put 9 people in there (6 adults and 3 small children) without a problem.

The cottage was air conditioned, had a washer/dryer, freidge, and stove/oven with minimal cooking equipment. This place is nothing fancy. The carpet and furniture were a bit dated, and we had a couple of minor maintenance issues, but the operators of the lodge seem to be slowly making improvements. Not a bad place for a family to stay for a few days.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 8, 2001

Cedar Pass Campground

Badlands National Park, South Dakota
(605) 433-5361

Wall Drug

Attraction

Quote:
This has got to be the world's biggest touristy junk store. But it's impressive nonetheless. The billboards go on for miles on I-90 though South Dakota. They lead you to believe this store has something for everyone, which is basically true. The story goes that this small drug store in a tiny town became popular for offering free ice water to travelers. One thing led to another to form the collossus that is Wall Drug today. Personally, I didn't buy anything at the store except a decent ice cream cone. My wife got our 1-year old daughter a rubber buffalo. We did spend about 2 hours just strolling around and looking at the place. I like reading all the newspaper and magazines arti...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 10, 2001

Wall Drug
510 Main Street
Wall, South Dakota 57790
(605) 279-2175

Castle Trail

Attraction

Quote:
If you want to "get away from it all" this is the best hiking trail in the Badlands to do so. Chances are you won't see too many people during your 2 hour one-way hike.

It gets pretty warm on this prairie trail which skirts north of the "wall". TAKE PLENTY OF WATER. Pretty scenery but very warm, especially when carrying a 1-year old on your back!

You can get someone to meet you at the other parking area, walk the whole 10 miles, or take the Medicine Root Trail loop instead of going the whole way straight. Check the maps when you get there!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 12, 2001

Castle Trail
Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Quote:
This is a very, very large prarie dog community. Their holes go on as far as you can see. Basically, they come up and look around, eat some grass, and sometimes they chirp at you. Eventually, they go back down in their holes and pop up somewhere else! Please don't feed the prairie dog like we saw some people do. There's signs everywhere, folks!

There was a big herd of Bison (Buffalo) in this town as well. It's not good to approach them. Apparently, they like to scratch their backs occasionally on the prairie dog holes. Poor prairie dogs...

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 12, 2001

Roberts Prarie Dog Town
Sage Creek Rim Road
Badlands National Park, South Dakota