Blogs,  National Parks

Black Hills & Badlands

Black Hills – home of Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower and many more. In this post we will cover Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower and Badlands.


Mount Rushmore

A mountain carved with faces of 4 national figures who truly played an important role in the American history. What a great way to show gratitude towards them. Visit to Mount Rushmore was beyond touristy experience.

We reached Mount Rushmore around 9:00 AM.

Visit to the monument is free but there is a parking fee of 10$. The parking pass that you will receive is valid for 1 year from the day of purchase. National Park Pass is not accepted here.

You get amazing view of monument from the Grand View Terrace. It is accessible trail. But if you want to go up close to the monument then you can take the Presidential trail.

Presidential Trail: Easy trail with 0.5 miles distance. We spent around 15 to 20 minutes there. This trail gives very different views of presidents. While we were on a presidential trail we saw beautiful Navajo tents.

We visited this place in summer and had amazing Navajo lemonade here. It was made from wild berries. I wish I had taken picture of it.

We got nice mementos from the store in the park. After that we headed for Badlands National Park. It’s a one and half hour drive from Mt. Rushmore.

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Badlands National Park

When I was researching for Badlands National Park; I was totally amazed after seeing pictures of dramatic landscapes span, layered rock formations, steep canyons and towering spires; for me it was like some other planet! It is definitely one of the best national park we visited. It not only has beautiful landscapes but abundance of wildlife.

There is a $20 fee which gets waived if you have National Park Pass.

We had 6 to 7 hours to spend in the park. So we decided to do the scenic drive loop and some short hikes. We started from White River Visitor center and drove through Route 27 and followed Sage Creek Road.

Sage Creek Road is a dirt road and you need extra time to drive but we got to see so much of wildlife and wildflowers. We saw bison, prairie dogs, bighorn sheep, and owls.

We stopped at all the overlooks on a loop road, did some short hikes and took some nice pictures.

Please find the map for overlooks below.

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Devils National Park

Name says it all right? It’s the first declared United States National Monument, by President Theodore Roosevelt. This is an 867 feet igneous rock formation.

Park fee is 20$ for private vehicle.

We spent around an hour and half at Devils tower.  We did 1.3-mile loop hike around the base of the formation.

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