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If you’ve never seen the famous Badlands of the former Dakota Territory, the iconic Badlands National Park is a great place to take it all in. From stunning overlooks to hiking and biking trails, the Badlands offer a unique adventure when you are in search of something different. Made up of over 240,000 acres, Badlands National Park preserves South Dakota's beautiful eroded buttes, spires, and protected mixed-grass prairie.
This park is incredibly scenic, so take your time to stop at as many of the overlooks as possible. Especially these overlooks: Prairie Wind, Changing Scenes, and Big Badlands. If passing through during the evening hours, check out the night sky observing program. Also, Friday through Monday, the Cedar Pass Campground Amphitheater has some of the best stargazing in the world.
One of most popular ways to explore this park is by foot. Easy trails include the short Fossil Exhibit Trail, Saddle Pass, and Window Trail. And for the more experienced hiker, try the 1.5-mile Notch Trail, the four-mile Medicine Root Loop, and the 10-mile Castle Trail.
If you feel like taking a ride on your bike, you will find many bike trails throughout the park. If you prefer the pavement, set out on the Badlands Loop Road, featuring a 22-mile and an eight-mile option. Longer trails include the 17-mile Northeast Loop, 23-mile Sage Creek Loop, and 27-mile Northeast-Big Foot Loop.