NORTH DAKOTA'S PAINTED CANYON

in #travel3 years ago (edited)

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LOCATION

The Painted Canyon Overlook is located on the interstate I-94, on the edge of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, only six or seven miles East of Medora, in North Dakota.


To be more accurate, is at Exit 32 from the I-94 freeway. It is opened seasonly, from May to October.

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When you are travelling on this highway, this place is a must stop, as it offers a majestic overlook of the rugged beauty of western North Dakota. If you wish to have only a glimpse of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, without entering it, this is a great place to stop along the interstate highway.

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AMAZING VIEWS OF THE BADLANDS AND ITS PAINTED CANYONS

There is no doubt that the views of the North Dakota Badlands are stunning! This rest stop overlooks the Painted Canyon.

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The rock formations and colours are scenic, if not phenomenal! It's definitely worth pulling off the interstate. I discovered it by accident and I was blown away by its beauty.

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DESCRIPTION

What makes it so colourful? The sediments! Sand, clay, silt, shale and lignite coal, all having different colours, provide the colourful “painted” landscape in front of your eyes.

The weather, erosion, wind and water flow are daily contributing to reshaping this land. Two types of rocks can be found in the park: sedimentary and metamorphic.

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The Canyon's mountains are steep and side with Little Missouri River and the grass lands in between. After the rain, the colours are more intense than on a bright sunny day.

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THE PAINTED CANYON OVERLOOK FROM THE VISITOR CENTER

The Painted Canyon Visitor Center is a combination rest stop and museum type store. It has a long paved walkway which enables tourists to have a bird's eye view over the Badlands.

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There is plenty of room to walk around and stretch a bit while enjoying the sights.

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Inside the centre you can purchase some snacks from the vending machines.

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WILDLIFE BONUS

Watch for buffalos grazing in the area, wild horses and prairie dogs!
I was excited to spot a buffalo sitting on top of the hill, right next to the fence.

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PRICE

There is NO entrance fee!

TRAILS

If you are looking for a bit more adventure, you can hike into the canyon. There are two trails that leave from the Visitor Center. The first one is a short one mile loop, while the second is a bit longer (2 miles) and takes you down to the Canyon floor. Keep in mind, you’ll have 2 miles to hike back and the trails have a steep decline and incline.

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While hiking on one of these trails, you can see the richness of the colours up close, smell the scent of the canyon’s vegetation. It’s an unique experience that brings you closer to nature, allowing you to revel in gorgeous surroundings. You can watch or listen for birds and insects while thinking how it must have been to live in the wild wild West.

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If you lack stamina, you can have a seat on one of the benches located next to the walkway and enjoy the stunning views.

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RANGER’S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HIKERS:

  • wear hiking pants (not shorts)
  • use a hiking stick as the terrain offers a little challenge
  • bring water with you
  • beware of snakes

Most of the hikers prefer to go on the trails during late fall or early spring because the snakes "hibernate".

Here are other travel related posts:

TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE A LIVING WHILE TRAVELLING THE WORLD

FEELING UNINSPIRED? VISIT A WELSH RETREAT: GLADSTONE’S RESIDENTIAL LIBRARY

TURDA’S 400 FEET UNDERGROUND AMUSEMENT PARK, A HIDDEN GEM OF TRANSYLVANIA, ROMANIA

MEMORIES FROM CANCUN, MEXICO

CARIBBEAN PARADISE: BOCAS DEL TORO

TOURING MONTREAL CITY, CANADA

MONTREAL'S GARDENS OF LIGHT, CANADA

BOQUETE’S FLOWERS AND COFFEE FESTIVAL, PANAMA

VISIT TO SAINT-JOSEPH’S ORATORY IN MONTREAL, CANADA

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it! All photos were taken by me with my camera. If you wish to use them, please contact me or at least tag @lymepoet in order credit the photographer.

Feel free to re-steemit or up vote this post! Please leave your feedback in the comments, I would love to hear your thoughts!

@2018 LaviPicu aka The Lyme Poet. All rights reserved.

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Thanks for the guided tour. Great pics. Do you live in the US? Looking forward to seeing more posts like this.

I live in Canada but I do travel often to the states. Thanks for dropping by!

Your pictures reminded me of this quote: "America is so vast that almost everything said about it is likely to be true, and the opposite is probably equally true" - James T Farrell.

I think this quote gives an accurate description. Thanks for stopping by! ;-)

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Very nice post about a place I haven't been to. Looks like my kind of place, I'll stop the next time I'm in that part of the world.

Thanks!

I am glad you liked seeing this post. Have a great day!

Fabulous! Thanks for this! But if North Dakota is as humid as the rest of the Midwest, I'll keep dreaming of Arizona's red-rock country instead. I love the desert, but then again, I've never lived where water is scarce. And gardens don't grow without extraordinary irrigation efforsts; just cactus. Truck in the veggies, then, if I ever find my cave in the rocks to live in. :)

I was there in mid July and it was not that bad. Humidity was bearable. To be honest, it was pretty cold that day. I remember wearing long sleeves.

I live in the Midwest, where corn fields are blamed for adding more humidity into the air. Maybe it's true. The older I get, the less I can handle humid weather. On a trip to Sedona and Grand Canyon, 110 degrees of DRY heat felt great! I am a lizard!!

I know what you mean! Although where I live it's dry, the winter is way too long. I am longing for the sun and hot summer days.

wow... Takts exactly the place I would love to go...
I was last month at a place in France with similar sediments... It was nice to see but probably not so amazing like your hike..

Thank you for reading and commenting on this post! Where was that place in France that you mentioned?

it was in Roussillon in Parc Natural Regional du Luberon... nice area!

The painted canyons are mesmerizing to watch! I love different mountain views and this one is already one of my favorites. I love colorful stuff. Thank you for sharing this.

Imagine my surprise when I came out of the interstate looking for a restroom and found this breath taking view. Thanks for stopping by!

I'll get stunned, like super! I'm so happy that I did.

We sure have some beautiful places in this country. The pictures and descriptions you have given along with the suggestions are very much appreciated. Some day I may take a trip to see this place now that I have had a better look at it through your eyes.

Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a review! I am glad that this post convinced you it was worth taking this trip.

My pleasure, there is plenty I've not seen and I enjoy being able to discover new things, what better way than hearing about them from people who have been there and done that.

Wow, so beautiful. I have not spent as much time as I’d like in these kinds of desert environments. I’m always so taken with the pictures, thank you for sharing!

I would have liked to have more time and go in the National Park as well but I couldn't. Next time, I will do it for sure!

So beautiful! There is something about desert and scrub that is mesmerizing in an unconventional way.

It’s like Dance with Wolves our there! ☺️

I thought of coyotes, wolves and the Sioux while I was there!

Beautiful pictures! I've never been through the badlands, but we might fix that this summer...

I hope you'll write a post about it and let us know about your experience there. ;-)

I'll definitely do something! Once spring begins to take hold here...

wow... Takts exactly the place I would love to go...
I was last month at a place in France with similar sediments... It was nice to see but probably not so amazing like your hike..

Such wild, rugged country! Fabulous subject and great photos. :)

The beauty of it was that it came out of nowhere! This wasn't an average rest stop. Was fabulous! Thanks for stopping by!

That’s some beautiful terrain. Thanks for sharing.

The photos can't do justice to this place! Thanks for reading!

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Those images made me think of a few funny movies about family vacations! Chevy Chase, Dan Ackroid, or even Stev Martin?

Thanks for the nice post.

Namaste,

Jaichai

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