Painted Canyon – Smartphone pics

Saturday I visited Theodore Roosevelt National Park in southwest North Dakota.  From Bismarck I drove west on the dreaded interstate 120 miles just to get to the State Highway which would later take me 50 miles north to the “North Unit” (the Park is split into two parts).  Another 10 miles west on I-94 took me to the Painted Canyon Visitor Center, which is pretty much just a combination rest stop and orientation center for people traveling on the interstate.  This is where I saw the bison pictures I posted Saturday night.  After taking the photos in this post I drove another 9 miles on I-94 to get to the exit which would put me on the road to the entrance to the “South Unit” of the Park.

When I got out of the car at the Painted Canyon Visitor Center (and after taking pictures of the bison) I went to the overlook and was quite surprised at what I saw.  While I have been traveling throughout North Dakota I have pretty much been seeing vast stretches of farmland and rolling hills, with an occasional river or lake thrown in.  I was now looking down into a valley (canyon) which reminded me very much of the Badlands National Park in South Dakota – which is not actually very far away from this Park.  Until I looked at a map in the Visitor Center I had no idea I was this close to the Badlands (where I started my big trip last year).

Here is the view from the Painted Canyon Visitor Center overlook:

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This Park reminds me of the Badlands but with more grass, hills and trees than the Badlands, which is in more of a desert setting.

When I get home from this trip one of the first things I plan to do it post more pictures from the Badlands, and other early stops from last year’s trip.  Looking back, those were the first posts on the blog and I often only posted one photo, even though I took lots more.  So before I go back and post pictures from earlier trips I will post some more from early in last year’s trip.