Natural Features & Ecosystems
NPS photo by Larry McAfee
The landscape of Badlands National Park is roughly half badlands geologic formations and half mixed-grass prairie ecosystem. The striking scenery of the rugged spires and deep canyons may draw your attention, and the lens of your camera, first. But as you spend more time in this place, the prairie comes alive. Stay awhile and get to know the prairie plants and animals as well as the stark badlands and fossil resources.
Did You Know?
To the Lakota, this harsh and desolate landscape was known as "mako sica," meaning “land bad." Early French trappers similarly described the area as “bad lands to travel across." Today, geologists consider all the places in the world with similar topography and formation badlands.