Golden Glow - Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Door Trail, Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Just past the eastern entrance to Badlands National Park are a couple of trails that take you to some great sunrise locations. We were staying in one of the two motels near there (the eastern end is remote), so, on my first morning at the park, I headed out for a short drive to the trails. There is a very large parking lot there, and I headed out on the Deer Trail. The trail is actually only about a half-mile of boardwalk, and, at the end, there are stairs where you can walk in the surreal landscape. That is a must if you are going to photograph there.

There was only one other photographer there (it was mid-September), and I had my pick of locations. For this shot, I climbed up on one of the mounds, and just took in the formations, as the rising sun created this amazing orange glow to them. The blue sky and clouds gave a great color contrast to the scene.