Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Not every trip we take is for football or even sports. There’s so much to see out there in this big country world of ours, we would be remiss to not share it with you. First up, the Badlands National Park.

The Badlands and the national park is home to interesting and dramatic rock formations. Located in South Dakota, the park is out of the way for many Southern football fans.

However, if your travels take you to South Dakota, you will not be disappointed if you take the time to see the awesome rock-scapes in the park.

You could spend days getting lost in the fossils and other hikes. Or you can take advantage of the Badlands scenic loop road, Highway 240, to see some amazing views in just a few hours. The choice is yours. Whatever you do, though, don’t forget your camera.

A Trip Through Fly Over Country

In June 2012, I had the chance to see some bucket list places, including the Badlands, on a cross-country drive with my friend Heather. Are you hearing Jason Aldean’s Fly Over States about now?

Take a ride across the Badlands
Feel that freedom on your face
Breathe in all that open space

Once you’ve been to the Badlands, you’ll totally understand the song a little more.

Here are some of the highlights from one day in the Badlands National Park in June 2012:

Badlands National ParkBadlands National ParkBadlands National ParkBadlands National ParkBadlands National ParkBadlands National ParkBadlands National ParkBadlands National ParkHeather pops up over some rock formations in the Badlands National Park.

The pictures really do not do this park justice.

Near the Badlands National Park: Mt Rushmore

Mount Rushmore, along with Badlands National Park, are must sees on any trip to South DakotaWhen visiting the Badlands, be sure to take trips to Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

We visited Mount Rushmore on day one of our cross-country drive back to Georgia. On day two, we visited the Badlands. In the late afternoon, we definitely felt the “freedom on your face” as we drove across South Dakota, headed east.

I definitely recommend seeing Mount Rushmore in the evening, both for some incredible pictures but also for the lighting ceremony. Be careful on the winding roads getting up and down the mountain areas. They can be hazardous in the dark or in poor weather conditions. And don’t forget about the wildlife in the area. Take your time getting up and down the roads.

National Park System

The United States National Park System is truly an American gift to the world. America sets an example for preservation and education through the park system. With over 300 million recreational visitors, the park system is truly an exceptional way of highlighting the natural attractions of our country. 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the national parks.

If you are going to be visiting several national parks and other federal recreation sites, you should consider the annual pass. The pass is just $80 (seniors can buy a $10 lifetime pass) for a rolling 12 month pass. If you are out visiting the Badlands, good chance you’ll be hitting up a few other National Parks on the same trip. The annual pass is also great for those RV tailgaters that want to take their RV out during the non-football seasons.

We hope to see you in the parks this football off-season!

Have you visited the Badlands National Park? What was your favorite part? Comment below!

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Kimberly is the owner of a Tiffin 34PA and the former owner of Starter RV, a 1990 Winnebago Chieftan.Kimberly is based out of Atlanta, Georgia, and frequently travels to football and baseball games, NASCAR events, music festivals, and RV campgrounds all across the southeast and beyond!She can be found cheering for Georgia Tech, traveling the world, or working on the RV (because there's always something to do on the RV). Don't ever underestimate what she can whip up in the kitchen or accomplish on no sleep.Find out the latest from Kimberly by signing up here.

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