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Badlands

Ohio
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38 posts
3 reviews
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Badlands

On our way to the Black Hills, we will be staying overnight at Mitchell. On our way to Custer State Park, we would like to visit the Badlands. Would someone please let us know how much time should we spend at the Badlands. Besides Wall and Badlands Loop Road, what else is there to see? We have our reservations at Sylvan Lake that same evening. Would we be able to do the Badlands and still arrive at Sylvan Lake at a reasonable time? (I don't know when it gets dark there).

Thank you in advance for your input.

Illinois
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253 reviews
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1. Re: Badlands

We're following about the same plan as you and have done so twice previously. From Mitchell, I believe it is about 3 1/2 hours to the Badlands. From Wall (basically where you exit the Badlands) it is about another 2 hours. We have always spent the night in the Badlands at the Cedar Pass Lodge and also hit Wall Drug during that day. We've done that so that we can experience the Badlands during the day, at dusk and first thing in the morning but you can certainly do it in much less time. It doesn't take all that long to drive thru but we usually hike around a bit and like looking for wildlife-buffalo, pronghorns, mountain sheep/goats? and deer. I'd say give yourself 2 or 3 hours to drive thru slowly, take advantage of the pull-offs and really get a decent look. You should definitely be ok making it to Sylvan Lake-just watch the time so you get in before dark or even dusk-you don't want to miss the view coming in or have to worry about watching for animals in the road after dark.

Youngstown, Ohio
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135 posts
5 reviews
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2. Re: Badlands

Badlands were the prettiest is the evening-the colors were nicer. Daylight seems to make them looked washed out. As far as Cedar Pass lodge-I just stayed there (Sept 1,2005) & I didn't like it at all! The floor was slanted & felt hard. The view was great but cabin #3 was in need of some major work. If you have time for a trail ride they have brochures at the Cedar Pass Lodge visitor center-it's only about a mile away. The price was $15 for half hour or $20 for an hour. You ride beside the Badlands park but there are still huge rocky areas you go by & around & some really nice views. Go early before it gets really hot!

As far as Wall-it was good for some corny photo ops but that was it. I was so disappointed I didn't even eat there.

illinois
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194 posts
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3. Re: Badlands

Badlands Loop- great. Wall- not worth it. Needles Highway- incredible,but sometimes scary. Custer- great; the mules are the best thing. And, that sounds like a long but do-able drive. There's just so much beautiful stuff to see in the area I'd think you'd want at two hours in each area.

Youngstown, Ohio
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135 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: Badlands

The mules were a lot of fun-make sure to take something to feed them. I bought a huge bag of Malt-O-Meal cheerios at Walmart for $3 or $4 dollars. I saw other people feeding them carrots. They do slobber a lot so take some kind of wipes or hand sanitizer. I fed them outside of the car as they make a mess but they do get pushy so becareful of any little ones.

The needles were pretty but you have to go slow. Take note of height/widty restrictions as some of the tunnels are tight. Definetly worth seeing/driving in daylight hours.

St. Louis
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20 posts
43 reviews
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5. Re: Badlands

Just got back from our vacation. The Black Hills and the Badlands were on our agenda. We weren't impressed with the Badlands. We took the 240 loop and tried to go on some of the gravel roads to explore further. Unfortunately, the unpaved roads are in such bad shape that I was worried that they would shake my SUV to pieces. We opted to skip the remainder of the Badlands and head to the Black Hills.

If your interested in the history of the indians and the events leading up to the Little Big Horn, I would recomend the Crazy Horse Monument Museum. They have an incredible collection of indian artifacts. We planned on a two hour visit and stayed over four.

Sylvan Lake is beautiful. I wish we would have spent more time there. Be sure to go on the Needles Highway while your there. I believe its highway 89 or 87. Really beautiful scenery and some very interesting tunnels. Tons of fun to drive too...

This time of year it starts getting dark around 7:00.

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