Trail Running in Badlands National Park

Allison and I only have ten days carved out for our trip to Glacier National Park, so we’ve been trying to minimize our travel time. Still, we figured a 2-3 hour evening run in the Badlands would be a nice way to recover from our first full day of driving.

Navigating the rough terrain

Allison on the Castle Trail

Most of our running was along the Castle Trail, although we made a few detours to check out some of the more interesting formations.

Allison stopping for water (unaware of me holding the camera)

Hurdling over a narrow (but deep) crevice

Running alongside one of the larger ravines

We reached our turnaround point around mile 6. The sun was already pretty low on the horizon…and of course I hadn’t listened to Allison’s suggestion that I bring along my headlamp (“No worries. We’ll be back WAY before it gets dark”).

Approaching the turnaround. 

So we really had to book it to cover the final 5-6 miles before running out of daylight. And for some added encouragement, one of the hikers we met warned us that he’d already seen several rattlesnakes lurking in the grass alongside the trail.


…and running…

…and running.

We ended up making it back to the car just as visibility was becoming really poor (and about 20 minutes before a thunderstorm hit).

Allison on the home stretch

We drove another 90 minutes to Rapid City SD…but as luck would have it, there was a huge motorcycle rally going on. We weren’t about to fork out $200+ for one of the remaining rooms in the Motel 6, and also didn’t have much luck finding a decent place to pitch our tent in the National Forest.

We ended up just pulling into a Wal-Mart parking lot and sleeping in the trunk. Which was fine.

Cliffs are like clouds: if you stare long enough, you can almost imagine you see faces.

This morning, we made a quick stop at Mt. Rushmore before beginning the 12 hour drive to Glacier. We’re currently staying in a motel in Missoula, MT – with plans to drive the final 2.5 hours early tomorrow morning.

Published in: on August 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dylan and I forgot to inform you about Sturgis. Our bad. Looks like you’re having a good time so far though. Love you!

  2. WOW! Beautiful place to run!

  3. We will be back in just a couple of hours no problem! Where have I heard that before??? Glad you had a good first day!

    • Haha! Yeah, it’s kind of becoming a habit.

  4. Nice…looking forward to the next post : )

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