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Badlands Loop

Road Review: Badlands Loop

South Dakota Highway 240 is known as the Badlands Loop, as it cuts right through the heart of Badlands National Park. While the road twists, dives, and climbs through the park you will see some of the most bizarre and awe-inspiring scenery this part of the country has to offer; extensive erosion of sedimentary soil and rock have created colorful canyons, hoodoos, and other geologic formations right in the middle of the great plains. Despite the alien-feeling landscape, the loop starts from and returns to I-90, so it’s quite easy to get to if you’re passing by. Unfortunately, most visitors to the park also know of this fantastic road, so expect heavy traffic during peak tourist season. Also, the road’s speed limit has been drastically cut down, likely to accommodate the high density of hikers, cyclists, and rubbernecking RVs on the road. Though this road has the makings to be a perfect canyon road for a fast blast, you’re probably better off taking it slow and soaking it all in.

CategoryScore
Average4.50
Bends5
Straights4
Elevation Changes7
Technical Difficulty2
Speed Limits1
Traffic2
Scenery9
Adventure6

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