Sometimes it’s tough to explain the grand-scale beauty of the Badlands — it’s easier to show people. That’s where the popular cell-phone activity of “selfies” comes in. Some people are better at it than I am, so that hashtag #inthebeautifulbadlands will give you a chance to show off where you’ve been. This is the hashtag that you can use to find your selfies and those of others:
Years ago, one of my motorcycle-riding friends from Texas asked me to photograph him on his bike in the Badlands. Even though I’d hiked, camped, canoed, and ridden horses in the Badlands for decades, I drew a blank on where would be the best place. In the end, we chose #5 as the best place to pose him and his Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.
The famous Riverbend Overlook is near the west end of the scenic drive in the north unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. A convenient parking area and trail leads down to the building. Along the way are several potential points for a selfie.
Oxbow Overlook is at the far western end of the scenic drive in the north unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. A large parking area, benches and a paved walkway lead to the overlook above the Little Missouri River.
If the time is right, you may get a distant bison in one of your selfies. Be careful. Some people make the fatal mistake of thinking they can get an up-close selfie with a bison. That is never a good idea. It is always a bad idea. But with a bit of planning and positioning, you can stay hundreds of yards away from a bison and still get a good selfie.
Key safety idea: “hundreds of yards.”
Probably the most common selfie point in the badlands is the rest area on I-94 between Belfield and Medora. The Painted Canyon Rest Area overlooks the Badlands and provides a nearly ideal location for a selfie.
In the south unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a short little trail overlooking the Little Missouri River. Wind Canyon is what it says it is — windy. The views down below are good enough for a grand-scale selfie, or one that is a little more intimate.
The far east end of the Badlands
Little Missouri State Park
This is where the Badlands are the most rugged. The Little Missouri State Park has several good places for selfies, including near the entrance sign, or at the overlook platform.
Lost Bridge Pull Off
The historic pull off at the Lost Bridge site is good for a selfie. It’s about halfway on the Highway 22 Scenic Byway from Dickinson to New Town. You’ll find it down the hill from the Little Missouri State Park on North Dakota Highway 22 north of Killdeer.
Show us What You Got
Your cell phone, or a tripod and camera with a self-timer are all you need to get going. So, let’s see what ya got! Our Facebook Page (click here) is a good spot to share your selfies from one of these locations or another place for a grand-scale selfie that shows the Badlands and all their beauty.
Enter the Facebook Selfie Hashtag Contest
Win a summer gift bag worth more than $50.
Until June 21, the Beautiful Badlands Facebook page is hosting a selfie contest.
The winning selfie will be determined by popular vote: engagements, likes, comments, shares.
The official rules are here: https://wp.me/p8zmWn-5Vw
Must use the hashtag:
The Badlands are a seemingly never-ending region of photo opportunities. Get out of your car, take a little hike to see grandeur that most people do not believe is North Dakota.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the Badlands in North Dakota?
The Badlands follow the Little Missouri River from the extreme southwestern corner of North Dakota, 150 miles north to Mandaree.
What are the Badlands?
The badlands are a rugged and hilly region of western North Dakota. They are an eroded slice of landscape with sparsely wooded ridges, bluffs, buttes, and pinnacles laid bare by glaciers and erosion of eons of time.
What are the Little Missouri National Grasslands?
The Little Missouri National Grasslands is the largest national grasslands in the U.S. at 1,033,271 acres. It its unaltered state it includes tall prairie grasses, buttes, badlands and woody areas. It is open country and so an almost constant wind blows across the Little Missouri National Grasslands.
More Selfie Locations
We’ve scouted the region for the best selfie locations including those by amazing structures and some by essential historic points. Subscribe to this blog to be the first to know when we publish a list of suggested selfie locations. The subscribe box up above on the right is where you tell us to send the “first-to-know” notice.
Use the hashtag #inthebeautifulbadlands to show us where you like to shoot selfies.