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  • Writer's picturethebackpackingblotskes

Badlands National Park

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

Did we just step onto the set of the next Star Wars movie?!

Hollywood should definitely consider this location for their next sci-fi flick! Parts of this park totally had the Mars vibe going on, and other parts were very familiar to us.. rolling hills, grassy fields, roaming buffalo, breathtaking sunsets. It was fun to experience it all in one location!

While we had planned to do the Medicine Root Trail, a park ranger informed us that most of it was covered in mud after a recent stretch of rainy days. It was recommended that we do Notch Trail instead and that is where we encountered the alien-like terrain.

Highly recommend this hike! It was definitely different than our usual treks in the mountains. Round-trip, this hike was only 1.5-2 miles and with not much elevation gain (roughly 125 ft). The only part that will make you raise an eyebrow is a steep ladder you have to climb up, and of course, down. With little ones in tow, it isn't easy but it's doable. We had Rowen climb it himself and he did AWESOME! Bear rode on Chet's back and that was a bit of a challenge, more-so coming back down than climbing up. Anyway, I've done my duty to warn you about that minor hiccup ;)

Check out this hike with its super cool terrain, the fun little challenges and its amazing view at the end!

Notch Trail

Parking lot fun :)

The overlooks were in abundance at BNP and we were sure to take advantage of them! We spent almost an entire day just driving around, pulling off at the overlooks, taking in the sights and snagging a front row seat to a gorgeous sunset!

Badlands Overlooks

Some "life on the road" shots :)

Are we still in South Dakota?! (Check out the planet Jupiter colors below)

Taking in the sunset at yet another beautiful overlook...

And that about wraps up our time at Badlands National Park! We were so impressed at how much this park has to offer. It is well worth your time....

If you're planning a visit and have some questions needing answered, shoot us an email and we'd love to help out as best we can! Email us at and let's chat!

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