Brilliant light, brilliant landscape

The Golden Hour, that last hour of sunlight before dusk, comes much earlier in the day now than it did in the middle of summer.  It produces a natural light show where the skies are open and visible — such as in the North Dakota Badlands, and specifically at the historic Elkhorn Ranch, Teddy Roosevelt’s ranch headquarters.

sky clouds elkhorn ranch

Light wispy clouds barely block the sunlight as it turns the hillside into a color that matches the fall leaves near Elkhorn Ranch.


Early in the day, the landscape was in full spotlight.  Trees are turning colors — earlier than in some places because of the drought stress.  

The day ends golden

clouds sky elkhorn ranch

The belt of Venus is just beginning to appear on the horizon above the Little Missouri River in front of TR’s Elkhorn Ranch cabin.


The golden cast continues looking up the Little Missouri River, a few yards from the Elkhorn Ranch veranda where TR used to watch the golden hour.


golden hour hill sunset

The hill face across the river from TR’s Elkhorn Ranch is a hill he often watched as it glowed in the sunset.


Across the river from his ranch, this hill reflects the light just as it has for hundreds of years.

The spectacular lighting came as the sun dropped behind the clouds and shot rays into the heavens.


sun rays blue skies sunset

Not something you see every day, sharp distinct rays from behind the hills reaching across the blue sky.


Yours to Own

We love collecting these images into one spot where people can select images they like as wall decor or other products.  Just click on the image you like and you’ll go to our “store” where you can collect Beautiful Badlands images.  

Next week, you’ll read about how easy it is to escape the crowds and enjoy a solitary adventure hiking and camping in the fall in the Badlands.

This fall, we’ll be showing some of these images in stories from the Beautiful Badlands when we speak with service clubs and local gatherings.  We could join you, too!

Snapshot Saturday

Snapshot Saturday is all about seeing, looking and admiring the beauty in the Badlands like these:

Take a drive 

Badlands meet the water

Wild horses in the Badlands.