June 20-21, 2012 – Bad Lands National Park, SD
We left Sioux Falls on Wednesday morning once again in the rain. The rain quit a short distance out of Sioux Falls and the rest of the drive was cloudy but dry. We are staying at the Badlands Ranch Resort a short distance south of the National Park.
After lunch we went into the park to the Visitor Center where we watched a really nice short movie about the park. After looking around the Visitor Center we left to discover it was pouring rain so instead of doing the hikes we planned we headed back to the RV Park.
Thursday morning was beautiful, warm and sunny so we headed back into the park.
Our first stop was the Cedar Pass Area where we took several hikes. One hike was on the Window Trail – a short hike that gave us great views of the area.
Another hike was on Notch Trail and was longer – a 1.5 mile trail that leads to a notch for views of the White River Valley. A short distance into the hike this little guy was sitting beside the trail. He sat there for a while and let us take his picture.
The trail description said the trail climbs a log ladder – what it didn’t say was how high we had to climb! Nancy is somewhat bothered by heights so it was not an easy climb (but we soon found that it was easier going up than coming down).
We hiked along the ledge on the right and all the way to the notch in the center of the picture.
The views from the notch were spectacular and well worth the effort to get there.
After our hikes we drove to Wall, SD where we fueled up the truck and had lunch. We also visited the famous Wall Drug but were not impressed – it was too crowded and full of junky tourist souvenirs. We then drove to the West end of the park and took the Badlands Loop Road where we stopped at several overlooks.
When we rounded one corner we came upon these Big Horn Sheep on a cliff overlooking the road - we could see 4 ewes and 2 lambs. As we rounded the next corner there was a ewe standing on the road and we had to stop until she crossed.
Every overlook had great views.
We really enjoyed our visit to Badlands National Park and are continually amazed at the beauty of our country. Tomorrow we head to Rapid City.