Snapshot Saturday

Warm weather, a Christmas gift

Much warmer than average December temps create massive incentives to get outdoors — so we did. Four times.  

The critters in the Badlands don’t take a break for winter. They’re still there.  As we hiked near them, a few set their eyes on us to see if we posed any threats.

bison golden hour

Take Wind Canyon trail as far north as it goes, then drop down below the hill to walk “backcountry” to see where the bison like to hide.

We visited the South Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park to ease the holiday stress, and it was worth it.  Not only did our stress levels drop, but our visual enjoyment soared.

Wind Canyon

It only takes a short hike to get to great places in the Park.  For example, at the Wind Canyon trail — a short half-mile long easy walk — visitors are lead to a path that overlooks the Little Missouri River.  From here, you can see the erosive effect of the river. Take a moment or two to imagine how far the river has cut into the hillside.

rocks split

Rocks split from the wall. Wind Canyon Trail follows the cliffs on the east side of the Little Missouri River.

Ridgeline Trail

Or head the other direction from Wind Canyon. Instead of going to the north side of the Park, head east to Ridgeline Trail. The elevation gives a “top of the world” feeling.  Steps could make it easier to get to the top of the Ridgeline — but they don’t. They’re covered with ice and snow.  Very slippery.  So, we walked to the edge and made it safely to see what we could see 

ridgeline trail looking north

Looking straight north from Ridgeline Trail. It’s an easy trail, only about a half mile, but it is rewarding.

We’re blessed to have a fantastic national park right off the Interstate. For the price of a tank of gas and a National Park Pass, short hikes, or backcountry hikes are yours.

Don’t want to pay the entrance fee? There are equally incredible adventures anywhere along the Little Missouri River and the Maah Daah Hey trail — free.  Just use a map to get there — and a reliable automobile. The National Forest website has online information. We recommend buying this map is the best tool you can own for your cheap adventure. It is very detailed and helpful for exploring the Badlands and the National Grasslands.

We’ve got Tips

Here is help for your next experience the western wilderness of the North Dakota Badlands.  Invite us to speak to your group.


Stay Tuned — There’s more!

Dreaming of spending more time outdoors when it warms up?  Not a bad idea at all. We’re scheduling all kinds of stories to help fuel your dreams and help you prepare for your warm-weather adventures in the North Dakota Badlands.  Backcountry hikes are for those who want a bit more exercise and challenge than the marked trails in the park.  We’ve got a story on those more difficult hikes.  

What do you know about the Ukrainian New Year Celebration?  That’s a Badlands tradition, and a story is about to be published about the celebration.

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