Badlands National Park is about as rugged and barren a park as you can find in the United States. This stunning geologic wasteland sits in South Dakota's southwestern corner, hidden away from just about everything man has made. Walk through the park to journey into the past; if you're lucky you might find some fossils for your troubles. Badlands National Park camping options are somewhat limited, but secluded Deer Haven campground is worth the trek. And the Badlands' sprawling Sage Creek Wilderness Area has miles upon miles of empty, permit-free backcountry just waiting to be explored.
The perfect dozen: Embark on one of these 12 treks, and turn America's most iconic preserves into your own private paradise.
Explore off-trail in a wilderness with more bison than boot prints.
Explore Badlands National Park's trailless interior on a backpacking trip along Spring Draw Creek.
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