Located in southwestern South Dakota, Badlands National Park consists of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires blended with the largest, protected mixed grass prairie in the United States. The Park's 244,000 acres are habitat for bison, bighorn sheet, prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets, as well as hundreds of bird species. Their visitor center at Cedar Pass is open all year. For more information, call (605) 433-5361. (National Park Service photograph)
The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site Visitor Center is located less than 30 miles from Badlands/White River KAO. It opened on November 24, 2014. The Visitor Center tells the story of the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile system and its role in the larger context of the Cold War. This facility is the best place to begin a visit to the park, with launch-site tours. Call 605-433-5552 for reservations or visit Minuteman Missile Historic Site online for more information.
World renowned Wall Drug has been a Great Plains destination for decades. It is a free family attraction that includes an old-time five-and-dime, art gallery, animated dinosaur exhibits, gift shops and restaurants. Picture-taking props, gem panning, mine tours! 5 cent coffee! Free ice water! Old fashioned Soda Fountain. 605-279-2175. http://www.walldrug.com/
The Badlands Loop Road is a paved 35 mile drive with spectacular views. The beauty of the scenery will take your breath away, and if you are looking for 'twisties' to bike around, this road will not disappoint. It leads to Wall, SD, and the world famous "Wall Drug".
In Wall, learn the unforgettable story of the Wounded Knee Massacre. Experience the narrative museum through vivid graphics, photographs and shocking firsthand accounts. Seasonal hours. Go online http://www.woundedkneemuseum.org/ for more information.
The Prairie Homestead is one of the very few pioneer sod dwellings intact today. Tours afford fun activities and valuable history lessons. Pioneer style clothing is available to borrow, so your photos have an authentic charm. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Go online http://www.prairiehomestead.com for more information, or call (605) 433-5400.
Open daily Mid-April to November 1. The Badlands Petrified Gardens offer an astonishing and unique view of the geological history of the Badlands area, including the largest display of petrified trees and prehistoric fossils found in the Badlands of South Dakota. Some of the exhibits include marine fossils over 200 million years old, petrified trees over 60 million years old, fossilized remains of the Saber tooth Tiger, Bear Dog, Titanothere and others, fluorescent mineral display, large display of Badlands minerals and agates, extensive Rock and Gift Shop. For more information please call 1-605-837-2448.
The "Baja Off Road Vehicle" area is located six miles west of Interior, on SD Highway44. It offers over 450 acres of open prairie and 4x4 trails to enjoy in sight of the "Wall" of the Badlands. The area has no services, so bring water! Public land; no fee for day use.