There's something distinctly eerie about the Badlands. It could be the heavy silence covering the 244,000-acre park. Or perhaps it's the otherworldly rock formations, carved away by water over the course of half a million years.
Hang out around the mountaineers, kayakers, backcountry skiers and rock climbers enough and hiking sounds like a pastime for the casual walker. For the avid hiker, getting out has no need for carabineers, ropes and rescue equipment. In general, there is no risk of serious injury, or even death. Hiking poles are optional, and dehydration, blisters, or a slow walk out on a rolled ankle is often the greatest peril of a long day on the trail.