This Is the Coolest Trail in Badlands National Park


There’s something distinctly eerie about the Badlands.

It could be the heavy silence covering the 244,000-acre park. Or perhaps it’s the otherworldly rock formations, carved away by water over the course of half a million years.

Or maybe it’s the fact that people have been calling it, you know, the Badlands for hundreds of years. (Even Lakota tribes and early French trappers ended up dubbing the area with the same moniker.)

Want to feel smaller? Head to the Notch Trail in Badlands National Park. Photo: Courtesy of Brandon Scherzberg

Despite the sacred, slightly off-putting vibe of Badlands National Park, the stretch of dramatic canyons and pillars in South Dakota is undeniably beautiful.

One of the richest deposits of mammal fossil beds in the world, it’s scattered with the fossilized bones of long-extinct animals and the scuttling of…

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