Before we started to travel (about 10 years ago), the only thing I knew about the “Badlands” was that there was a national park with that name somewhere in South Dakota. In fact, when our son moved from Rochester to Las Vegas (in 2004?) he asked me if he and his wife would go through any badlands on their way west. I told him no, that he’d be driving well south of South Dakota and he’d miss them.
Well, guess what – I was wrong (again). Yes, there is a Badlands NP in South Dakota, but there are a number of other “badlands” in the western part of the U. S. Some of them are even “badder” (in my opinion) than the more famous one in South Dakota. The area just to the east of Capitol Reef in Utah, for example, is one of the best examples of badlands I’ve ever seen. Others include the Chinle Badlands in Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument in Utah and Hell’s Half-Acre in Wyoming. All of them are “bad”. Which, in general, simply means that they contain very dry terrain, very little vegetation, and tend to be liberally populated with ravines, canyons, and hoodoos. You wouldn’t want to build a house in one of these places (although people have). Even walking through this stuff can be difficult.
The images here, though, are all from the NP in South Dakota. We stopped for about half a day here before heading for Deadwood, SD.
And once again I have to say that I haven’t “enhanced” any of these with additional saturation. The color is real – it’s what we saw.
Yep. Rock (or sediment) that’s as close to purple as I’ve ever seen in a natural landscape. And no, I’m not at all sure how it got that way. I do know that the terrain here changes every time it rains; it’s very soft and the surface erodes easily.