How do you convey the ruggedness and diversity of the landscape of the Badlands to someone who has not been there before? My conclusion is that you can't. I have posted a number of photos that show microcosms of this unique area, but it is hard to give an overall picture of the place. First there is a 100-mile "wall" of rock formations that rises out of nowhere from the plains of South Dakota. Second, the diversity of the rock formations found on the wall are impressive, ranging from jagged peaks to water and wind eroded rock.
As one looks at this landscape from one of the numerous trails and overlooks, you get a great appreciation of how it got it's name by the Lakota People (one of the seven tribes of the Sioux). Remote and rugged, you almost feel that you are looking at a lunar landscape. This photo shows the erosion that has carved the rock over the past half a million years. Water accounts for an inch of erosion each year. I picked a black and white treatment for this photo because I felt that it shows the details that appear in the rock formation.