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Badlands National Park

These dramatic landscapes are the largest protected mixed-grass prairie in the US


Last updated: by Mariana Maglych
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The eroding landscape of Badlands prairies was created over the past 75 million years with layers of soil reflecting the history of its formation. Once a sea bottom, now it's a fossil-rich surfaсe with hoodoos, buttes, and 56 types of grasses.

Bison, ferrets, prairie dogs, and other mammals, reptiles, and insects all inhabit the badlands. An incredible variety of fauna in the park is an addition to an equally impressive list of flora. Despite the desert soil conditions—wildflowers, rare plants, and trees still grow here.

The park is open year long; however, winters are usually cold, and summers are hot and crowded. To fully immerse yourself in this prairie's nature and avoid tourists, choose early spring or fall. These seasons also feature bird migrations and grass color changes.

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