Carved by the unrelenting power of water, the North Dakota badlands are recreated continually. A favorite destination for outdoorsmen, an important source of grass for the rancher, and tapped to help supply America's endless thirst for oil, these hills are treasures to those who know them well.
As this area is approached from the east, the smooth undulating prairie of western North Dakota suddenly breaks into an incredible, tortured landscape with layered colors of brown, orange, gray and blue. Cold in the winter, hot and dry in the summer, the vegetation here grows best in pockets protected from the onslaught of the wind. Follow the canyons and draws far enough and you will find the Little Missouri River, which is at least partially responsible for the terrain madness.
These pages provide the reader a glimpse of the badlands from the viewpoint of someone who believes the beauty of the North Dakota badlands eclipses the glory of the Grand Canyon. Those who are familiar with this landscape will likely find something within that stirs an old memory, and make them want to return for another visit. Those who haven't been fortunate enough to experience this area yet may be inspired to do some exploring. In either case, I hope the visitor will step out of the car, find a trail, and see what they can find around the next butte. They won't be disappointed!