In between our reservations at Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, we made a three-week loop through the Dakotas. Our first stop was Wall, SD outside Badlands National Park.
We’d already spent a couple months hiking and exploring deserts through the southwestern states, and our kids seemed a little weary of hot sandy trails and blazing sun. The thought of several days exploring the Badlands on foot actually seemed pretty uninteresting to all of us.
We were fortunate though that Badlands has an interesting trait compared to the other arid areas we’ve visited in that the park is full of fossils, as the park was once submerged beneath a vast inland sea. The park has little fossils, like snails, and big fossils, like an ancient animal the size of a rhino.
We were able to the kids and ourselves more excited about more desert hiking by turning each day hike into a fossil finding mission. I was sure excited to go looking for a massive skull poking out of the ground.
Katie already wrote about our fossil find and Jane’s recognition, so I won’t detail that much here, but suffice it to say that hunting for fossils gave Badlands a unique spin for all of us.
Here are some of our photos from various hikes throughout the Badlands and some new photos of our fossil finds.