Badlands National Park takes you to another world on your motorcycle ride
One of the more popular rides to take while visiting the Black Hills is the Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway. The Badlands, located near Wall, SD, offers an out of this world side of the Black Hills that is unlike anything else you can see while here. Take a trip east into the Badlands with their picture-worthy scenic overlooks and a view of the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands.
Badlands National Park is unlike any other park in this country, filled with a labyrinth of buttes, cliffs, and multi-colored spires to transport riders to another world. The Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway (SD 240) cuts right through the Mars like atmosphere taking riders on a 31-mile stretch of scenic wonderment. The Badlands Loop has been credited as being one of the top ten rides to take while visiting the Black Hills, and truly, it'll make you feel as though you have left the Black Hills for a different world where aliens are the main inhabitants.
The rolling buttes and sharp cliffs and jagged spires that litter the Black Hills landscape is picture worthy and the twisting road that cuts through the landscape offers riders a picturesque ride that can’t be attained anywhere else. Of the 38 miles of parkland (244,000 acres), there are 15 overlooks, eight trails to park the bike and stretch, and the Ben Reifel Visitor Center to get more history and information on the unique rock formations. The Big Badlands Overlook and the Door, Window and Notch Trail are all must sees that are just off of the main road and the Pinnacles Overlook offers views to the west, as does the Yellow Mounds Overlook. Hikes through the Black Hills range from flat prairie land to uphill climbs through, up, and across the historic rock formations.
The Badlands National Park was home to many creatures, which have since been fossilized in the ancient rock formations. Take a stroll along the Fossil Trail and go back in time to see what kind of fossils you can find there. You will likely even run into some living creatures while you’re exploring. Along the Sage Creek Rim Road, visitors will find pronghorn antelope, buffalo, and bighorn sheep. As always, be sure to not approach the animals, as they are wild and dangerous.
On your way out of the Badlands National Park, be sure to stop at Wall Drug, a historic landmark, for some free ice water, coffee, or some highly popular donuts. An entire half day could be spent exploring Wall Drug and all of its history and roadside attractions.