Badlands NP 2016-03

March 16, 2016  •  3 Comments

This trip to the Badlands NP was intended to be a solo camping trip to shoot the Milky Way above the Badlands formations.  However, because of the early Spring date, the campgrounds were closed and visitor center on short hours.  As luck would have it, most of the businesses in nearby Wall, SD, were also closed for the season.  But in spite of those complications, the Milky Way was still there, and the craggy formations in the park were interesting, especially at sunrise and sunset.

To see more photos from this trip, please visit the Badlands NP 2016-03 location gallery here.  Click on any image below to see a larger version.

The Badlands National Park, located just south of Wall, South Dakota in the high plains just east of the Black Hills, consists of more than 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires, and the largest protected mixed grass prairie in the United States.  The Badlands contain miles of bizarre, colorful spires and pinnacles, massive buttes and deep gorges. Erosion of the Badlands reveals sedimentary layers of different colors: purple and yellow (shale), tan and gray (sand and gravel), red and orange (iron oxides) and white (volcanic ash).

 

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The night skies in Badlands were not as dark as I expected, with several small towns generating areas of light pollution along the horizon, but the Milky Way was still impressive above the spires and pinnacles.

 

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To see more photos from this trip, please visit the Badlands NP 2016-03 gallery here.   

As always, I would appreciate your adding a comment in the section below.


Comments

Bev(non-registered)
Gorgeous pictures of unusual landscapes. The bright stars in the background with the spires in front are impressive. Sorry about your travel difficulties, but the pictures came out beautifully .
Doug(non-registered)
Mike,
I especially like your commentary. The Badlands to me are a bit like Yellowstone. Mysterious, draw one in as opposed to standing out, impermanent and fragile. B&i have done a few short hikes in Badlands previous years and the silence was awesome. I think one could hear the grass growing! There is a very nice and well run KOA at the south end of the park loop. An oasis in the dryness, although it did rain on us last September. That dust turns into the most slippery, clinging "stuff" one can imagine.
And as always, phenomenal photos. Sad to hear of the light pollution. 30 years ago, the Milky Way looked like a paint brush stroke across the sky. But then Wall, SD was was Wall Drug!
Put Waterton Glacier Park on your list if not already there. It is on the Canadian side and contiguous with USA Glacier Park...just not as crowded.
Doug aka GulliverDfiver
Linda Allen(non-registered)
How can one begin to describe such beauty. I am in awe.
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