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A few years ago, we visited Badlands National Park and stayed the night in nearby Wall, South Dakota, on our way to Keystone and Mount Rushmore. The park is gorgeous, and we loved spotting animals along the way. Badlands National Park is a must-do!
Arriving at Badlands National Park
Since we stayed on the prairie in a wagon on the Ingalls Homestead the night before in De Smet, we entered the park from the east, just off I-90. If you’d like to read about our night in the wagon, click here.
We decided to take the Hwy 240 Badlands Loop Road to see the Badlands. We didn’t have to drive far to see some beautiful scenery.
Wooden pathways lead to some mighty spectacular views!
Sometimes, it looked as though the land went on forever.
Ben Reifel Visitor Center at Badlands National Park
Along the loop, we ran into Ben Reifel Visitor Center. We checked out the fossil lab, and of course, we checked out the gift shop. We didn’t stay long, because it looked as if a big rainstorm was on the way.
Continuing on the Loop and Seeing Wildlife
As we left the visitor center, we noticed the formations nearby were getting taller, more like mountains.
Right after we left the visitor center, we saw our first prairie dog town along the road. So cute!
It wasn’t long before we saw some bighorn sheep.
They were pretty far away, but we were sure excited to spot them.
They also roamed the prairie.
Leaving Badlands National Park and Heading to Wall, South Dakota
In our attempt to beat the rain, we headed on into Wall, South Dakota. We probably would’ve taken more time if it weren’t for the rain. Our first goal: get checked in for the evening at our motel.
I’d read about Frontier Cabins Motel, and I knew it was the perfect place for us.
The rooms are all in individual cabins. We had our own porch, and we could park right next to the cabin.
Our view from the porch? We could look out over this now extremely damp pasture.
The rooms are pretty cozy.
Kristin loved the playground in the center of the complex.
She played a little that evening, and then she had some time the next morning, too.
You’re supposed to spend some time relaxing on your trip, right?
That evening, we also explored Wall Drug. If you haven’t heard of this place, you will have after you’ve driven anywhere in the state of South Dakota. There are ads along the road for miles. But seriously, it is a cool place to check out, and we had a great time. Click here to read more about our experience.
The next day, we had a lovely breakfast at Frontier Cabins Motel before heading on to what would be our home base for the next three nights–Keystone, South Dakota. While we were there, we had a wonderful time at Custer State Park. Click here to read about our adventures there. We also visited Mount Rushmore and took a day trip to Devils Tower. Click here to read about our experience. We also enjoyed exploring Keystone and Deadwood. We had a wonderful trip, and I hope you have a fantastic trip, too!
I love the hammock – looks so cozy. This looks like a great place to social distance!
Badlands looks amazing! I’m trying to visit every National Park in the U.S., and haven’t been here yet. I may need to move it toward the top of my list after seeing these pictures.
We’re trying to see every national park, too! It may take us 50 years. Ha!
What a great trip! I’d love to visit the Badlands sometime.
We explore the Badlands a few weeks ago. Such a cool place!
How fun. I would love to stay in a wagon and then a cabin. Just because it would be cool to say I did. LOL
The landscape in the Badlands looks so unique! We can’t wait until we get the chance to visit that park. Thanks for sharing your experience!
The Badlands look really cool. I love that you caught some great shots of the wildlife!
We went to Mount Rushmore in October. We didn’t make it to Badlands National Park, but I really wish we would’ve. it looks beautiful.
This looks like a great place! Badlands is on our bucket list! We’re hoping to try to squeeze it in this year, but we’ll see.
The Badlands National Park looks like an interesting place for photography
This looks like it was a great adventure! My kids would love the playground.
We got near here but didn’t get to it…our itinerary was already packed. I love these cabins. We will be visiting at some point and will check out these cabins for lodging.
What a uniquely beautiful area! I’ve not visited this area of the US at all yet.
We went to Mount Rushmore a few years ago and am disappointed we didn’t explore The Badlands. Your post is inspiring me to take that road trip again.