Badlands National Park is located in southwestern South Dakota, just east of the Black Hills. This geographic area is most well known to tourists, but badland areas exist in several other states and Canada as well.
Badlands are areas of earth formed over millions of years by wind and water, or the process of deposition and erosion. Common geographical features include deep gorges, sharp buttes, steep spires and striking colors exposed in layers of sediment and rock formations.
The badlands area in South Dakota is a national park, attracting thousands of visitors each year. The rock formations here are thought to be 47 million years in the making, spanning three major geologic periods.
Although the South Dakota badlands are the most famous, similar rock formations and spectacular terrains can be found in North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah and Montana, as well as southwestern Canada.