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How and When to Enjoy the Monument

The monument is open all year, and any time is a good time to visit it. However, for those who want to enjoy the floral displays, late May and June are suggested. Most of the colorful flowers will be gone by mid-July, and by August the prairie grasses will have become dry and brown. The climate is generally most pleasant in May and June and in September and October.

Map of Badlands National Monument
(click on image for an enlargement in a new window)

If you have a choice as to time of day, early morning and late evening are ideal. At these times the rising or setting sun produces brilliant color effects and casts shadows that give the scene a depth and beauty not evident at midday. For a special thrill, try to view the landscape under the light of a full moon. The spires and pinnacles are accented by jet-black shadows that give a sharp two-dimensional effect, as if the skyline were cut from cardboard.

A view from near Dillon Pass showing the entire sequence of Badlands formations FRED W. HALL PHOTOGRAPH

As you drive over the monument road, you will find numerous parking areas at or near places where unusual features or outstanding panoramas are evident. Park your car, set the brakes, and enjoy the scenery. Signs at many of the parking areas tell the interesting stories of the natural features. Please park off the traffic lanes if you stop between parking areas. A WORD OF CAUTION—please do not throw cigarettes or burning material of any kind from your car or into the grass. Devastating prairie fires may result. To prevent unsightly littering of the monument, place your film cartons, candy wrappers, or lunch refuse or other trash in containers found in the parking areas. It is a mark of a good citizen to take pride in your National Parks and Monuments and to respect the rights of others. Be a good citizen.

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Last Modified: Sat, Nov 4 2006 10:00:00 pm PST

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