||H I K I N G
Badlands National Park
Southwestern South Dakota
Tuesday, August, 24, 2004
Location: Badlands National Park
Distance: 1 mile
Elevation Change: 125 feet
Tread: Dirt trail
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A hike doesn't have to be long and hard to be enjoyable. Sure, you certainly get gypped on the exercise part. But, if the scenery part is absolutely stunning, then why complain? I would hazard to say that most, if not all, of the hiking in Badlands National Park is scenically spectacular. So many strange geological formations, coupled with the park's policy of allowing you to roam anywhere and climb atop anything, you get the feeling you're a kid again, set loose in a quarter million acre romper room!
A lot of folks visit the Badlands but don't take advantage of the hiking. Now, that's a big shame. There's nothing like getting up close and personal with the park's vast array of colorful and other-worldly clay and sandstone formations. Geologically speaking, the formations are on the fast track to oblivion due to their relatively soft composition. Within the earth's lifetime, they'll only be around for a wink of time. Not to worry however, you have plenty of time to visit, they only erode fractions of an inch per year.
It's early August and the weather is sunny and warm. Perfect weather for a hike I say, and what better place for a hike than in Badlands National Park. I'll be going on two hikes today. This hike, the first one, will take me into the heart of some of the parks smaller formations.
Do you have your hiking boots on yet? You do? Great! Come on, let's get hiking!
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