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Badlands (North Dakota)

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The Badlands are a region of the US state of North Dakota. The Badlands are located in the southwest portion of the state. The area is dry today, but in the past, rivers carved out stunning rock features that stand today. It must truly be seen to be believed.


View of the North Dakota Badlands

Badlands are unique formations resulting from millions of years of sedimentary buildup and erosion. Theodore Roosevelt first came to the North Dakota badlands to hunt bison in September 1883. TR was heartbroken as his wife and mother died on the same day earlier that year and came to ND to find himself. During that first short trip, he got his bison and fell in love with the rugged lifestyle and the "perfect freedom" of the West and became a rancher in the badlands of North Dakota. TR said that if it weren't for his time in North Dakota, he would have never became President of the United States.

Bison at the South Unit Park



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  • Drive through the Badlands on US Highway 85. The area is sparsely populated and in the summer months gets extremely hot. Fill up your gas tank, check your coolant levels, and pack plenty of water for yourself. Start in Dickinson rather than Williston so the sun won't be in your eyes as well. Notable sights on this drive are: Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Little Missouri National Grasslands, Watford City and the Missouri River.
  • Maah Daah Hey Trail, [1]. The Maah Daah Hey trail system showcases some of our country’s most unique and breathtaking terrain. Majestic plateaus, jagged peaks and valleys, large expanses of rolling prairie, and rivers intertwine to offer the adventurous outdoors enthusiast a taste of pure, unadulterated badlands.  edit

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