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Badlands National Park—More from Day 1

Sunday, 9/18/2011

Cedar Pass Campground

Interior, SD

We’re now at Badlands National Park.  This is a “must see” destination for me.  Many, many years ago I visited this park while traveling with my parents.  The beauty of this area is so awesome, I just can’t view it enough.
When we arrived yesterday, we exited off I-90 at Exit 131 near Cactus Flat.  We headed south on SD240 about three miles to the northeast entrance to the park.  After stopping at the gate and purchasing our National Parks Annual Pass, we continued south to the Cedar Pass Campground.  I could hardly keep my eyes on the road on the way to the campground.  The scenery was so beautiful.  We passed by a few pull-offs and the Visitor Center on the way.  We checked out the campground.  It has two main loops with both electric only sites and no electric sites.  There is a dump station nearby with water available.  We chose site #12 with electricity.  The sites are what I would call pull-off sites because you really just pull off to the side of the road.  Sites are located on both sides of the loop road, and it can get a bit tight.  Here’s a picture of our site.
That Winnebago Brave on the other side of the road in front of us is Winnona.  YES, that’s Sherry and David.  They’re RV-Dreamers too.  They’ve been traveling ever since the April rally in Tennessee.  We’ve been in contact with them and coordinated our travels to be here at the same time.
After getting all set up, Terri and I headed out to explore the park.  We headed back the way we came in so we could  stop at the pull-offs that we had passed by earlier.  At the first pull-off was a trail called Cliff Shelf Nature Trail.  This trail includes boardwalks, stairs, and natural surfaces.  It’s about a half mile loop and climbs about 200 feet in elevation.  The photos in the previous post were taken from this trail.  On our way to our next stop we saw some of the locals.
Our next stop was at another pull-off that has four trails available.  We didn’t do the Notch Trail or the Castle Trail.  The Notch is a 1.5 mile moderate to strenuous trail and the Castle is a 10 mile moderate trail.  Hopefully we can come back again and try these trails.  The other two trails are the Window Trail and the Door Trail.  Both are rated easy and are boardwalk trails.  Each one leads out to a wonderful view of the landscape.  The Window is .25 mile trail.  Here are some photos looking out the “window.”
This is along the trail on the way to the “window.”
The Door is a .75 mile trail.  We saw this little guy along the way.
After that we headed back home to get some dinner and relax.  Tomorrow we’ll take the Badlands Loop Road.


  1. Well, I am getting caught up on your blog. Great photos of a wonderful place. We want to go back and do some hiking. Just zoomed by on our first visit;o(

    Looks like you are really enjoying the full-time lifestyle. Hope to join you soon :o)) In the meantime, keep taking us to all this wonderful places!!

  2. Great to see the Badlands again and to know what you all did when we weren't running into you! :-)

  3. Terrific place. We are jealous that you guys are with other dreamers. Have fun!

  4. I've zipped through the Badlands three times, never had enough time to really take it all in...slowly.

    Guess what's on our FT travel list?

  5. Between you and Sherry, I almost feel like I've been there! I said almost :) I can hardly wait to see this amazing place!

  6. Very nice pictures of the Badlands. We have been there several times and always enjoy the park.