Going into South Dakota we only planned a day and a half to hop into the Badlands. It seemed that we’d already seen some in New Mexico and we were sure that the Black Hills would offer more for us.
Had we know what we were in for we would have allotted more time. They turned out to be our favorite part of the Dakotas and we’re sure we will visit them again.
It was also our first free campsite inside a national park. Our campground was quite busy, but we met some friendly folks from all over the world in this little circle (Australia, Germany).
As dusk quieted everyone down, we hiked up a bit into the west and watched the sunset afterglow in the park.
Driving in to the campsite, the rim was covered in visitors and families that made it seem quite touristy. In the morning we got up early and slowly rolled back toward the main park. We had the entire drive to ourselves with the exception of several herds of bison keeping us company.
The baby calves definitely felt like out of a movie. Maybe we should finally get around to watching Dances With Wolves. We also made breakfast in a scenic viewpoint.
The colors were just unbelievable. Once we filled up we stopped in the gift shop and got a map of a few hikes. We ended up driving further just to see what else was around and visited the Minuteman Missle silo which turned out to be a great exhibit on the cold war.
We did a 180 back into the park and hiked a couple of trails.
If you look closely you can see Kate and Harper way on the tippy top of the point here:
By this time it was starting to get hot and the vacationing crowds were forming in so we packed up and headed toward the Black Hills. Definitely a park not to miss.