Badlands National Park

The first day of our trip was spent in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. The Badlands are about a quarter of a million acres of eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires surrounded by prairie. The formations were deposited about 70 million years ago when the area was covered by an inland sea. After the sea receded, erosion carved the buttes into what we see there today. Eventually, the Badlands will erode away altogether.

Besides the spectacular views of the buttes, there are many animals to see. It was very hot (temps over 100 degrees during the day) when we were there and so the best time to see the wildlife was in the early morning or evening.

We drove around that evening and saw:

Bighorn sheep:

Bighorn sheep ewe grazing

Bighorn sheep ewe resting at the edge of a butte

Bighorn sheep ram

Bighorn sheep ewe

American Bison:


Bison bull

My favorites were the Black Tailed Prairie Dogs:

Black Tailed Prairie Dog on alert

Black Tailed Prairie Dog

When two of them meet, they “kiss” and wag their little tails:

Here, the same 2 prairie dogs hear something that startles them, and the one on the left starts to “bark”, which sounds like little yip- yips.

Sometimes they will stretch out on the ground to rest.


Me:   “Now you just stoppit….just stop being so cute, or I’ll have to grab you and give you a big ole hug!” 

We finished our day by taking pics of an approaching storm over the Badlands:

To give you an idea of just how big this place is, in the pic below that dot at the edge of the butte on the left is Harland:

And here’s a pic Harland took of me:

The next day we headed to Custer State Park.

Stay tuned….