Where Is Badlands National Park?

Where Is Badlands National Park?The Badlands National Park of South Dakota was first established as a national monument in 1929. In 1978 the monument officially became a national park, two years after some land previously owned by the Oglala came under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.

Geographical Location

The Badlands National Park is located in western South Dakota between Mount Rushmore and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Elevation of the park varies from above 2,000 feet to about 3,500 feet.


Indian Land

The Palmer Creek and Stronghold Units of the park lie within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. These areas are jointly administered by the National Park Service and Oglala Sioux Nation.

Great Plains

Between the Rio Grande River on the Mexican Border and the delta of the MacKenzie River in the north lies a vast stretch of semi-arid grassland that encompasses 10 states and three Canadian provinces. Located about halfway between the Rocky Mountains and the western edge of the Great Lakes, the Badlands are pretty much in the center of the Great Plains, the correct geographical name for this extensive biological area.

Ancient Sea

Seventy-five million years ago much of the Great Plains was covered by a shallow sea. At this time large sedimentary deposits created an extensive rock substrate that would one day become the Badlands.

Recent Erosion

When the Rocky Mountains were uplifted, much of the Great Plains region rose at the same time to create dry land. Over time the sedimentary rock has been eroded away to create the Badlands. Wind and water erosion has been most prominent over the last half a million years, thus giving the Badlands their present terrain.

Article Written By Henri Bauholz

Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.

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