Camping: Sage Creek Campground

Sage Creek is one of two campgrounds in Badlands National Park. Unlike the luxurious Cedar Pass campground, Sage Creek is primitive with no running water and pit toilets. The campground is located at the end of Sage Creek Rim Road, a dirt road off of the main road in he park. Camping is first come-first serve and free. This campground is awesome. It is just a big circle in the plains. Bison roam through freely and prairie dogs burrow all around! The campground probably has room for twenty tents with a good bit of space between them. There is a large hill next to the campground that gives you a great view of the area. There is also a small canyon nearby that is perfect for exploring, just watch out for the massive bison that are everywhere.

The campground from above.

Making coffee at the picnic table.

Bison in the road held us up for 20 minutes

Thanks! – Josh

A Years Worth of National Park Wildlife

In the past year or so of blogging, Josh and I have been fortunate to see a lot of wildlife while visiting National Parks across the country. I thought I would share all of these in one place.

Frog in Death Valley NP

This friendly coyote tried to hitch a ride in Death Valley NP

Deer in Mammoth Cave NP

Turkey running afowl in Mammoth Cave NP

Postcard perfect Elk in Yellowstone NP

The blurry blob to the right of the letter E was an incredibly large porcupine

Bison in Yellowstone NP

This Roosevelt Elk in Olympic NP walked right down the trail towards me

Bighorn Sheep in Badlands NP

Bison in Waterton Lakes NP

This grizzly bear in Waterton Lakes NP was busy munching and never paid any attention to us

Deer in Great Sand Dunes NP

The Ptarmigan’s in Glacier NP were everywhere

This marmot posing in Grand Teton NP was our blog with the highest views all year

Black bear in Great Smoky Mountains NP

The jackrabbits in Joshua Tree NP were huge

This addax in Big Bend NP was making a huge racket

This deer was eating a banana peel by the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon NP

Tropical fish in Dry Tortugas NP

We didn’t get pictures of the moose in Rocky Mountain NP nor did we get a picture of an all too close encounter with a mountain lion in Joshua Tree NP.

rk

Picture of the Day: Badlands National Park


This is right outside of Sage Creek Campground in Badlands National Park. We woke up early to wander around before packing up but our morning stroll was cut short by these two bison enjoying their breakfast right in our path! 

Picture of the Day: Bison in Waterton Lakes



A baby bison and it’s mom enjoying the views! 

     Yellowstone’s wolves are one of the most popular examples of a successful species reintroduction in North America! Another popular example would be the California Condor who was once considered extinct in the wild and now has a population approaching 500! I have been lucky enough to see both the wolves of Yellowstone and a California Condor (at the Grand Canyon!). On our recent trip to Waterton Lakes in Alberta we got lucky again and saw a small bison herd that was reintroduced into the Canadian plains in 2014! Still being quite the small herd and an ongoing process of reintroduction I am excited to see how the bison thrive in their old Canadian home! 
Thanks! – Josh

Picture of the Day: Bison in the City


This bison lives in the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Denver, Colorado! The Refuge used to be a chemical weapons plant in WWII but after extensive clean up it was turned into a Wildlife Refuge in the 1990s! Hopefully they got all the chemicals or there might be some irradiated 50 foot bison attacking Denver at some point!

Thanks! – Josh

Six things you must do in Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park is one of our new favorite National Parks.   There is so much to see and do.   Having said that, here are six things you must do during a visit to Badlands NP.

1–Visit the Ben Reifel Visitor Center — I really found the Paleontology Lab here fascinating.  This National Park is loaded with fossils of prehistoric mammals and turtles and this working lab lets you watch paleontologists make scientific discoveries.

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The Ben Reifel Visitor Center

2–Hiking —  If you read this blog, then you know we like to go hiking.   There are about a dozen well marked trails near the Ben Reifel Visitor Center.   Some are as short as a 1/4 mile and others as long as 10 miles.   Nearly all of them route through the black hills that this park is known for.

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Many of the shorter trails are on boardwalks.   This is the kid friendly Fossil Exhibit Trail.

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The Cliff Shelf Nature Trail

3–Camping — Hear me out here if you are not a camping savant.   This Park has two campgrounds, Cedar Pass and Sage Creek.   Cedar Pass has all the hookups and electricity etc.   I’m telling you go to Sage Creek.   This primitive campground is considered backcountry.   It does have pit toilets and picnic tables, but all that is worth it for the fabulous scenery and close encounters with bison and prairie dogs.   Plus its free.

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The Sage Creek Campground.   (Do you see the bison milling about?)

4–Look for wildlife — It is almost impossible not to see bighorn sheep, bison, and prairie dogs here.   My youngest son was excited to see a turkey vulture also.

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This bighorn sheep was just hanging around near Panorama Point

5–See the stars — If you get a clear night and a new moon then you are in stargazing heaven.

6–Stop and see the overlooks on the scenic Badlands Loop Road — The overlooks here are amazing.   You will be glad you stopped to see them.

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The White River Valley Overlook on the Badlands Loop Road

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Bigfoot Pass Overlook on the Badlands Loop Road