We hiked the short, but interesting, Notch Trail in Badlands National Park before moving on to our next destination. It was nice getting down into the formations, and we wished there had been more hikes like this one in the park.
We got up early to do the Notch Trail in Badlands National Park.
It's a mile and a half round-trip trail starting from the Door and Window Trails parking area. We got started around 8:00.
There is a sign saying to wear "Sturdy Boots", so we donned our hiking boots. As it turned out, they weren't really necessary, but we were glad we wore them.
We walked along the valley floor amongst the gray rock formations.
There were sign posts with yellow paint at the top to mark the way.
Not very far in, there is "ladder" leading up a wall. Interesting.
Going up wasn't bad, ....
but coming down might be a little trickier.
We walked along the ledge through a couple formations ....
and looked down to where we came from.
We obeyed the danger sign and kept to the right.
It was a pretty easy hike through the small canyon from there.
At one point, you can bear right or left and there is a sign pointing to the right. It's a very short walk up to the Notch from that intersection.
After getting a few photos, - it was windy and quite chilly - we walked back down and took the left at the fork.
To me, that was a little more interesting and took us up to a different window with what I thought was a better view.
There was no one on the trail at that point, but you could see how it would be fun to get up in the rocks and explore. We both wished there were more trails like this one in the park. Climbing into the guts of the formations is fun, and we might've stayed longer had there been more opportunities like the Notch Trail.
We walked back down, stayed left at the "dangerous cliff", and proceeded back toward the ladder.
Two others were coming up, so we waited. They took pictures of us going down (facing the wall), and I took pictures of them walking where we had just come from.
I also got a shot of Linda coming down the ladder, but I was instructed to wait until she was far enough down to turn around.
Apparently a bird or a UFO flew right over her at the time I snapped the picture.
It was a short, easy, fun hike and took about an hour.
Without doing some back-country hiking, we pretty much covered everything we wanted to see in a couple of days. Perhaps the next time through, we will do some back-country exploring and maybe even stay at the Sage Creek Campground.
Without the crowds that are prevalent in other National Parks, Badlands National Park is up way higher on my list of favorites than I thought it would be. The terrain is fascinating, and there was more wildlife than we expected. It may not have the iconic beauty of some of the other parks, but it's no slouch in the scenic views area.
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