I have been lucky enough to have visited Badlands National Park many times. Some previous visits have included camping, but most often it’s just a drive through. I don’t think there is anywhere in South Dakota that is hotter in the summer than the Badlands, and this trip was no different. Even with hot temps, you have to stop, the beauty is too much to miss.

Beauty of the Badlands of South Dakota

Kristin and Jane joined me on this camping trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota, and this stop at Badlands National Park was part of the itinerary.  Once here, we were hoping to hike around a bit, to get to the really good views, but it was 93 degrees and just too hot for me.

Patty Jane and Kristen
                        Beautiful Women at Badlands National Park

We did venture out onto a few of the board walks, but most of our views were from the comfortable air conditioned Subaru.  We drove the scenic road through the park and ended the trip at Wall for a little shopping (fudge, anyone?).

We continued on to the National Forest Service campground called Pactola Lake.  This is the same campground I stayed in last summer, and it was as wonderful as I remembered. 

It was uncharacteristically hot (believe it or not, it was hotter in the Black Hills than it was back in WI), but we made the most of it, enjoying a dip in the cool, clear refreshing lake each day.

Pactola Lake Campground
                                                     Pactola Lake in the Black Hills of South Dakota

We included some great day trips as part of this adventure, but using Pactola Lake as a base camp worked out great.  There is nothing better than camping in a beautiful spot, with great friends, great food (Jane made tuna steaks AND s’mores) and 5 days of vacation.  

Pactola Lake Campsite
                                                      Campsite at Pactola Lake – Black Hills SD

What I learned about myself:

I love solo camping trips, but there is nothing better than having great company along on your adventures.  I was just thinking that I haven’t done that great a job recently going on adventures, and then I looked at the blog posts and hells bells, I do fun stuff!  I am grateful that I have the opportunity and the ability to make this happen! 

Some thoughts for you:

Say “yes” to adventure!

Remember —  Get out there!!! 

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