Our third and final day in South Dakota was the day Andrew and I set out on our own adventure. This day would allow us to complete the National Park sites in South Dakota and check another state capitol off of our bucket list. After our cave adventures the day before, our first plan of the day was to arrive early to the Minuteman Missile Visitor Center to secure tickets for a tour of the launch facility. Only 6 people get to go on each tour, so tickets are a hot commodity. When we arrived, about 25 people were in line ahead of us, but by 8:02 in the morning, we had secured tickets for a 1pm tour of the launch facility. Obviously we had a lot of time to fill before that. First, we checked out their 10 week old museum exhibits, which were very informative about the time leading up to and through the Cold War. Then, lucky for us, we were just a few miles away from one of our other destinations for the day: Badlands National Park.
Our first three stops in Badlands National Park happened before we even made it to the first visitor center. We chose to hike Door and Window trails right away. Door Trail was really neat, because part of it is on boardwalk, but then you head right into the badlands themselves and follow markers all the way to the edge of a canyon. After those two trails we got back in the car for another mile or so until we made it to Cliff Shelf trail. Cliff Shelf Trail allows you to see the “greener” side to the badlands.
Following that, we drove the 42 mile Scenic Road. We enjoyed stopping at all of the overlooks and seeing the beautiful desert-like views. We also even got to see a Bighorn sheep right next to our car! The end of the road took us to Wall, SD, and like all good tourists, we made sure to stop in a Wall Drug and had our lunch there.