The Badlands

By: Maxwell Byrd

Sals Journey To The Badlands

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The Badlands formed through deposition and erosion. The area is mostly made of sedimentary rock. The sedimentary rock was formed in the Cretaceous period (67-75 million years ago). The light colored formations are from 28-30 million years ago. The oldest formations are at the bottom. Erosion begun in the Badlands about 500,000 years ago. Rivers and streams carried sediment to a certain point where it would pile up and create rock formations.


The climate in the summer at Badlands National park is typically hot and dry with occasional thunderstorms. Winters are cold with 10-24 inches of snowfall. High winds are common throughout the year.

Activities and events

Some activities to do at Badlands National Park are to drive the Badlands highway, stop at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center, visit the Fossil Prep Lab, hike a trail, enjoy the night sky, become a junior ranger, complete Badlands GPS adventure, go camping and explore the backcountry.

Facination facts

The Badlands was designated a national park in 1978. It contains 244,000 acres of land. The park contains numerous fossils of extinct creatures. Since 1994 the park has served as a reintroduction site for the black-footed ferret, one of the most endangered species in the world. Rock in the park is eroding at one inch per year.

Association With The Native Americans

Native Americans have lived and hunted in this area for 11,000 years. If the hunting was good they would stay in the harsh winter. The Great Sioux Nation consisting of 7 bands had displaced other tribes from the northern prairie. Native people dance the ghost dance and wear ghost skirts, which would be impervious to bullets.