Mako Sica, “Land of the Bad” Day 3

Yesterday’s twelve-mile hike of Castle Trail through Badlands National Park was at a pace that allowed me to take in all the details.  It was an otherworldly experience that you can read about here.  Today however I wanted to take a wider and more general approach to my exploration of what the original natives called “Mako Sica,” or “Land Bad.”

Badlands Loop Road is a forty-mile loop in and around the park with many spots to pull off the road and take in the incredible natural formations from a wide-angle.  I started near Ben Reifel Visitor Center and headed west in my vehicle, stopping at every great composition I could find.

Elevation Climb

Badlands Texture from Above

Surrounding the Badlands are vast expanses of protected grasslands. These ecosystems are vital to the wildlife that still lives there. I composed the image like this to give the viewer a feeling for how expansive these lands are, and how small and important are the numbers of the buffalo that are slowly gaining in population due to the protection.

Brother Moon, Sister Tree

Once I completed my round-trip of Badlands Loop Road, I took some time to rest before going out for the golden hour at the end of the day.

A deer basks in the warm, golden light of dusk.

The sun sets on my last full day in the Badlands.

Tomorrow, I’ll head home from this brief, but incredible exploration of Badlands National Park.  But before I take the five-hour drive home, I plan to do one more short hike at Notch Trail in the morning.  I’m looking forward to this trail that clings to cliffs before it ends at a sheer drop-off and incredible view.  Stay tuned!

Read about Day One here, and Day Two here , or Day Four here.

11 thoughts on “Mako Sica, “Land of the Bad” Day 3

  1. Pingback: Mako Sica, “Land of the Bad” Day 4 Finale « Lee Phelps Photography

  2. Pingback: Mako Sica, “Land of the Bad” Day 1 « Lee Phelps Photography

  3. Pingback: Mako Sica, “Land of the Bad” Day 2 « Lee Phelps Photography

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