USA Travel Magazine

           South Dakota Travel Guide

Explore South Dakota's Badlands National Park

Just miles east of Mt. Rushmore to discover and explore the Beautiful Rushmore Cave or trek into South Dakota's Badlands. Badlands National Park consists of 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires. Over 11,000 years of human history can be found within the sod layers while 30-65 million-year-old fossils erode out of the rocks. Known locally to the Lakota Sioux as "mako sica" the area was first called "badlands" by early French trappers due to the difficulty of travel and the lack of water.

Badlands National Park contains rich Oligocene epoch fossil beds, dating from 23 to 35 million years ago. The rock layers hold the fossilized remains of early mammals such as three-toed horses, housecat sized deer, rhinoceros, saber-toothed cats, camels, and giant pigs. When visiting South Dakota's Badlands there are several sites to see, including:

Did you Know? - Established as Badlands National Monument in 1939, the area was re-designated a "National Park" in 1978. Here's some more Trivia to share on your trip:

With such diverse heritage and outdoor experience to enjoy it’s no wonder so many travelers head to South Dakota.

By Rick Chapo

Getting There

To plan your visit to Badlands National Park visit

To discover all the nation's National Park and plan your visit go their

 Discover more about Mount Rushmore at the Borglum Historical Center by calling 1-800-888-4369 or visiting And, to visit South Dakota's Beautiful Rushmore Cave call 1-866-697-3511 or visit

To learn more about planning your next vacation getaway visit the South Dakota Travel Bureau at

Use this link to go to the South Dakota Travel Guide.

About The Author

Thank you to our Guest Contributors Contributors, like Rick Chapo, who shares a wide variety of topics of interest, and subjects. Rick Chapo is a writer for Nomad Journals, which is a maker of outdoor writing journals. Visit to read more of his work.