Red Road and Summer Storms in the Green Grasslands, North Dakota

A summer exploration to one of the highest points in North Dakota, Sentinel Butte, was followed by a quest to experience a beautiful thunderstorm in western North Dakota. The sound of thunder, the sight of fiery lightening, and the feeling of excitement in the air itself made this drive one of our all time favorites!   Thousands join us as we explore powerful thunderheads!  Click here:


Exploding Numbers!  Thanks to YOU!

Thanks to you, our readership and viewers have skyrocketed!  We began at 0, in all respects, just a few years back.  Now, our numbers for social media and website interaction are in the thousands!  

On average, people view our website nearly 9,000 times a month.  Our Beautiful Badlands ND social media sites average more than 67,000 impressions a month!

Facebook alone reaches an average of more than 74,000 views per month.

Our videos on YouTube and Facebook reach nearly 47,000 a month.

So to you, a HUGE thank you!  


Our Numbers and Explorations are Booming!

Beautiful Badlands ND began because we have a passion for western North Dakota and eastern Montana. We find the landscapes, people, culture, and history are second to none in the world, yet overlooked by most travelers.   We are on a mission to let people know what they are missing! 


Above the Greens in the North Dakota Badlands

Custer led his troops through this area on his historic, fateful march to the Little Big Horn in 1876. Today the land looks much the same as it did then, but the addition of modern conveniences and recreational opportunities has slightly changed the landscape. The greens of the Bully Pulpit Golf Course, south of Medora, glow brightly as the sun goes down on this November day.  Click here for more information about the Custer Tail:


Explore, Adventure, Photograph, Write!

Our goal is to spend quality time in western North Dakota and eastern Montana, to get to know it even better, and to pass along our passion as it deepens. 

We built and maintain this website, It is a constant ‘work in progress’, growing and improving as our knowledge and abilities expand.  

Our presence on social media sites is soaring, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Tumblr.  

As we spend more and more time in this area we love, it becomes more and more apparent that the very best attribute of the area is its people. They are hospitable and caring, intelligent and hard working!  We’ve made great friends, like you!


Neighborhood Spring Roundup in the Badlands of North Dakota

Neighbors, multi-generational families, and friends gather in the Badlands of western North Dakota for spring round up and branding. Cattle are herded across the grasslands by cowboys and ladies ages 4 to 80 + !   Read about the round up here:



Dancers at Little Shell Powwow, North Dakota 2019

A tradition of the MHA Nation (Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara), the Little Shell Powwow is held annually at the Four Bears Peninsula near New Town, North Dakota. It is one of the largest celebrations of the Three Tribes, open to the public and everyone is welcomed. Read about it here:


We Look Forward to More!

There’s more to come.  Stories we plan to tell include:

  • The rancher, bounty hunter who carved a road through the Badlands that today is Highway 85.
  • A “healing place” of a heartbroken Easterner who went on to become President.
  • All that delicious foods found in Belfield, Fairfield, Watford City and Williston.


We look forward to more explorations and adventures in the Beautiful Badlands and Grasslands of western North Dakota and eastern Montana!   As we meet more people and learn more about the area, we know our reach will continue to increase.  More and more, the world learns about the Beauty of these Badlands areas.   Thanks to you!


Glowing Serenity in the North Dakota Badlands

A drive through Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota always yields beautiful vistas. When the sun begins to set, the scenery glows, and when you hike to the top of a hill it becomes gold at your feet!


Join Us!

We’d love to learn about your adventures, explorations, and history in the Beautiful Badlands and Grasslands of western North Dakota and eastern Montana. We welcome your posts or messages on our Facebook page, or feel free to email us at:

Got a story of one of your adventures?  We’d love to see it.


Summer View of Square Butte, from Sentinel Butte, North Dakota

After driving across North Dakota on Interstate 94 for many years, gazing to the south at Sentinel Butte (near the town of the same name), we decided it was time to explore! A back roads drive to the top of Sentinel Butte, at 3428 feet in elevation, one of the highest points in the North Dakota, yielded an immense area to hike, and some of the most spectacular views we’ve ever experienced, anywhere! This is the summer view of Square Butte, seen from the eastern edge of Sentinel Butte. Custer and his troops traversed this area June of 1876 as they made their march to fateful Little Bighorn, Montana.
Read about our adventure climbing Sentinel Butte here:



Thank You!    Mary and Mike, Beautiful Badlands ND

It’s just us.  No one funds our travels or directs our efforts. We are self-supporting, and that’s part of who we are.  Raised as Midwest farm kids, we are used to seeing work to be done, and then getting it done.   We love to explore and adventure, to immerse ourselves in the stories of western North Dakota and eastern Montana.


On top the China Wall in the Badlands of North Dakota

When we hiked the Maah Daah Hey Trail in the Badlands of North Dakota, Mike stopped to get closer to the China Wall. This distinctive formation is deep in the heart of the badlands, accessible only by a long hike or ride.

Thank You!!    

I’m Mike. By training, trade and talent, I’m a communicator, a career writer, storyteller and journalist from Iowa who moved to North Dakota in 1981.  That year I went on my first adventure in the Badlands for the TV station where I worked – a rattlesnake hunt.  Then, for several summers, I rode with teens from across the world on horseback trails in the Little Missouri State Park.  In 2010, I started my first blog of Western North Dakota that still is out there somewhere, but my efforts morphed to become Beautiful Badlands ND.


Wearing a reflective orange safety vest is a good idea hiking the badlands in the fall.

Also on the China Wall, Mary climbed to the edge. Her low-cost retro-reflective safety vest helps keep hunters alert to her position.

Thank You!!  

I’m Mary. Others say I am a people-oriented, award-winning photographer, and a hardworking farm girl from the Red River Valley. Mike says that I apply “delicate charms” to the images I shoot, the events I post, and the food I write about.  I love to connect with movers and shakers, the brains and energy of community groups in the Badlands.  


View and purchase our photos here: Explore the Beauty of the Badlands! 

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