Prairie and pinnacles near Castle Trail in Badlands National Park, South Dakota
© Danita Delimont/Getty Image
Life on the prairie. A good time in the Badlands
At the close of National Park Week, we arrive at Badlands in South Dakota. Our photo today shows a view from Castle Trail—at 10 miles round trip, it’s the longest marked hike in the park. Spring rain has revived the grasses across the prairie as the sun illuminates the pinnacle rock formations in the distance. Soon, grazing animals such as bison and pronghorn will begin feasting on the fresh crop of grasses. This is also a good time of year to spot some of the dozens of different butterfly species that live in the park and provide a delicate contrast to the park’s rugged landscape.