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Which Badlands Area is the ‘Baddest’?

Do you know there may be multiple space often known as The Badlands? Two of the main badlands areas are positioned in Alberta, Canada and in South Dakota, United States. Regardless of the gap between them, a few of their options are surprisingly comparable, from frigid winters and arid summers to fossil deposits, sedimentary hills, wild grasses, and clay-rich soils.

Why are they referred to as ‘Badlands’?

The Canadian Badlands have been named by early French explorers as “mauvaises terres à traverser” or “unhealthy lands to cross” due to their steep-sided mesas, deep gullies, and clay-rich soil that turns into slippery and sticky when it rains. 

In the USA, the Badlands have been named by the Lakota individuals who referred to as the land ‘mako sika’ which suggests ‘land unhealthy’. Because the French explorers hung out with the Lakota throughout their travels, it’s possible that they used a French translation of the unique Lakota after they found comparable lands in Canada.  

Given the numerous similarities and variations, is there one Badlands area that stands out as being the ‘Baddest’? At the moment RVT takes a better have a look at the 2.

Canadian Badlands

Canada’s Badlands are positioned in southeast Alberta, masking 35,000 sq. miles (56,327 sq. km) from Drumheller, Alberta to the Saskatchewan border, and persevering with right down to the USA/Canada border. The Canadian Badlands are residence to prickly pear cacti, sage flats, prairie rattlesnakes, short-horned lizards, the western small-footed bat, deer, and coyotes. The Badlands additionally comprise the most important deposits of dinosaur bones on this planet.

Standard locations embody:


Drumheller is residence to many fashionable vacationer websites together with:

Image of Tyrannosaurus at Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada

Drumheller is positioned roughly 75 minutes northeast of town of Calgary and a couple of.5 hours from the gateway to the Canadian Rockies and Banff Nationwide Park. The Dinosaur Path, a 30 mile (48km) scenic loop simply east of Drumheller, is an effective way to view lots of the sights.

Locations to camp in Drumheller

River Grove Campground A treed campground containing each totally serviced 30 amp RV websites which embody energy and water and unserviced RV websites. There’s an on-site dump station. Options embody a big playground, a classic arcade, a comfort retailer, a laundromat, two rest room/bathe homes and a wheelchair-accessible rest room. Solely a brief stroll from downtown Drumheller.
HooDoo Resort gives spacious heaps for any measurement of trailer (heaps are 40-45 ft broad and 50+ ft deep). The campground affords 30 amp energy and water websites, coin laundry, 2 dump stations and is pet pleasant. Situated alongside the Purple Deer River it affords river entry together with two playgrounds, a small soccer subject and a full-sized baseball diamond. Situated 8 miles (13km) east of Drumheller.

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Dinosaur Provincial Park is positioned 104 miles (168km) east of Drumheller and covers 29 sq. miles (75 sq. km). It’s thought of much less ‘touristy’ than Drumheller and has fewer facilities. Dinosaur Provincial Park incorporates one of the plentiful dinosaur fossil fields on this planet and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Web site in 1979.

Hoodoos at Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

Standard actions embody:

  • Guided excursions
  • A scenic loop street
  • Mountaineering trails
  • Interpretive fossil shows
  • Biking
  • Canoeing/kayaking

Greater than 50 species of dinosaur have been discovered within the park. You could even see dinosaur fossils whereas mountain climbing, however it’s unlawful to take away them from the park. For those who resolve to journey from Drumheller to Dinosaur Provincial Park, bear in mind that the journey takes about 90 minutes and there may be little in between. Fuel up earlier than you go!

Locations to camp in Dinosaur Provincial Park

Dinosaur Campground is positioned inside Dinosaur Provincial Park. It affords over 120 RV and tent-friendly websites, together with unserviced, powered, and pull-through. The campground is located in a valley close to the Purple Deer River and lots of the websites again onto a creek. Facilities embody a playground, reward store, coin-operated showers and laundry, and an on-site dump station.

Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park

Writing-on-Stone/Áísínai’pi Provincial Park is positioned deep within the southeast portion of Alberta, 79 miles (128km) from Lethbridge, near the US border. It covers 11 sq. miles (17.8 sq. km). The identify for Writing-On-Stone within the Blackfoot language is “Áísínai’pi” which suggests “it’s pictured/written.” 
The Park is residence to the most important assortment of rock artwork within the North American Nice Plains, with over 50 teams of petroglyphs and 1000’s of pictorials. This unbelievable rock artwork shares the tales and beliefs of the Blackfoot (Niitsítapi) individuals. Different artifacts within the park embody bison jumps, tipi rings, and buried campsites.

Photo of Sunrise at Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park campgrounds in Alberta, Canada.

Standard actions embody: 

  • Mountaineering (path and backcountry)
  • Canoeing/kayaking the Milk River
  • Guided excursions of the rock artwork and hoodoos
  • Enjoyable on the pure, sandy seaside alongside the river

Locations to camp in Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park

Writing-On-Stone Campground is positioned within the park and is a treed campground alongside the Milk River. It affords 61 websites appropriate for tents and RVs; 47 have energy and water, and 14 are unserviced. Facilities embody a playground, coin-operated showers, grocery/provide retailer, firepits (firewood offered on web site) and a dump station. There are not any ATMs or cash-back companies on web site, the closest ATM is within the city of Milk River or in Foremost.

Badlands Nationwide Park 

The American Badlands are positioned in South Dakota and span 379.3 sq. miles (982 sq. km). Based in 1929, the Park is imbued with Lakota and French explorer folklore. The panorama is diversified, that includes placing buttes, canyons, pinnacles, and spires. Badlands Nationwide Park is populated by over 60 varieties of wild grass, dozens of flowering vegetation, prairie rattlesnakes, mule deer, bison, black-footed ferrets, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep. 

Photo of eroded hills & mountains at Badlands National Park
Badlands Nationwide Park, South Dakota, USA

Badlands Nationwide Park can also be residence to the most important fossil beds of the Eocene and Oligocene Epoch of the Age of Mammals, together with saber-toothed cats, three-toed horses, and historic camels. You received’t discover dinosaur bones right here! 

Between the second week of June and the third week of September, you may go to the Fossil Preparation Lab within the Ben Reifel Customer Middle to observe the paleontologists at work.

Standard actions throughout the Park embody: 

  • Driving the scenic 39 mile (62km) Badlands Loop Highway. With 16 scenic outlooks, 8 mountain climbing trails, and an ideal customer heart, there’s heaps to see and discover.
  • Junior Ranger Program — youngsters and youth who take pleasure in nature, historical past and exploring will probably be proper at residence on this program. In the summertime, there are various ranger-guided actions to get entangled in. On the finish of the Program members obtain a certificates and a Badlands Nationwide Park Junior Ranger badge.
  • Evening Sky Viewings — Park Rangers and astronomy volunteers assist level out objects within the night time sky for viewing via telescopes.
  • GPS Journey — A family-friendly scavenger hunt utilizing a GPS to navigate via many options of Badlands Nationwide Park. An “I walked the Badlands” patch is awarded if you hand within the exercise.

In search of much more cool locations to go to? Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave Nationwide Park, Minuteman Missile Nationwide Historic Web site, and Jewel Cave Nationwide Monument are all inside a two-hour drive of the Park.

Locations to Camp in Badlands Nationwide Park

Cedar Cross Campground options 96 degree websites with scenic views, and tent and RV websites obtainable. All websites have shaded picnic tables. RV websites are power-only, with no water or sewer. Two ADA Accessible websites can be found. A paid dump station is positioned close by with a $1 charge. Pay showers are additionally obtainable. There’s a restaurant and retailer onsite.

Sage Creek Campground is a free campground that includes 22 campsites. It’s first-come first-served, nevertheless no RVs over 18 ft are permitted.

Again-country tenting is permitted wherever within the park however it should be no less than 0.5 miles from a street or path and may’t be seen from a path or roadway.

Have you ever determined which Badlands you assume is the ‘Baddest’? Whereas comparable in geography, there are various variations between the Canadian Badlands and Badlands Nationwide Park, providing distinct, distinctive experiences to their guests. Since each parks are fairly ‘unhealthy’, we’ll depart the ultimate choice as much as you! 

Have you ever been to the Badlands? What was your favourite expertise? Tell us within the feedback. For those who’re searching for your subsequent new or used RV to affix you in your travels, try all of the obtainable listings at

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