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Badlands National Park

Located in southwestern South Dakota, Badlands National Park is known for its dry, dramatic landscape that sometimes gives visitors the eerie feeling that they've landed on another planet. Stunning rock formations, including twisted canyons and striped spires change color throughout the day with the shifting light. In addition to the rock formations, the park contains the largest, protected mixed grass prairie in the United States. The most endangered land mammal in North America, the black footed ferret, was reintroduced to the 64,000-acres Badlands Wilderness Area. The park also contains the world's richest fossil beds from the Oligocene epoch, dating back around 20 to 35 million years. Although it is a federal crime to dig up or move any fossils or other artifacts, the park has many fossils on display and an entire handicapped-accessible trail devoted to fossils. There are other hiking trails of varying difficulty, many of which are easy to reach from the Badlands Loop Road, the main and only paved road in the park. A few-hour drive along this road is essential for one-time and perennial visitors.

This article is based on work found at WikiTravel. A list of contributors is available a the original article. This article is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 license.


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