Badlands National Park has been so worn down by wind and water; it is now one of the most stunning natural formations on earth. On 244,000 acres in southwest South Dakota, visitors find eroded spires and gorges made up of layers of colorful sedimentary rock, the largest mixed-grass prairie in the country, and no signs of civilization. The bizarre landscape of the Badlands is unlike anything you have ever seen before. And while "beautiful" may not be the best way to describe it, it certainly takes your breath away.


1. Fossil Beds

The Badlands are home to the largest collection of mammalian fossils from the Eocene and Oligocene epochs. They include three-toed horses, camels, rhinos, rabbits, beavers, and birds. Fossils of marine life from the Cretaceous period are also in the deposits of an ancient sea bed in the park. The fossils unearthed here are on display in museums around the world.

The road leads through rock formations in the South Dakota Badlands ChrisBoswell / Getty Images

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