On this trip we come across national parks or national monuments almost every day – they are scattered all over the different states.
Custer State Park (South Dakota) can definitely compete with many national parks. The world’s largest herd of buffalos with 1,300 animals lives in the Wildlife Loop; Needles Highway ends at Needles Eye and leads through a rock tunnel with only one lane.
Parks and Monuments
In Badlands National Park (South Dakota), the landscape is hostile and consists of a wall of sandstone cliffs several hundred miles long, heavily eroded in many places.
Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming) stands a little bit in the shadow of the great Yellowstone National Park. Nevertheless, it is worth going there to see its mountains (of which the highest has 4,200 meters) and also Jenny Lake in the center of the park.
Scotts Bluff (Nebraska) gives the visitor an idea how important such “landmarks” were for the pioneers of the west. Mount Rushmore (South Dakota), with its world-famous heads of four presidents carved into the rocks, is of great historical importance to the American people. Devils Tower (Wyoming), an extinct volcano 265 meters high and 150 meters in diameter, is once again a landmark visible far from the distance.
Little Bighorn Battlefield (Montana) brings back rather unpleasant memories for most white Americans: On the battlefield the American army led by General Custer suffered a devastating defeat against the Indians of the region in 1876. On the Loop Road of the Craters of the Moon (Idaho) ancient lava fields with such nice names as Devil’s Orchard or Inferno Cone are waiting for visitors. Finally, in the Dinosaur National Monument (Utah) you can see bones of the huge reptiles that are 150 million years old.