Makoshika State Park

Montana’s Makoshika State Park is home to badlands. A look at this wonderful state park.

When we drove out here for my husband's job interview in September, we ended up having to spend several hours waiting on our hotel room to be ready. So we decided we would go some place where we could wander around without a lot of people seeing how we looked after being in the truck for 2 days straight.  Yeah, we looked horrible!

We knew there was a state park in the area that we wanted to see, so we headed to Makoshika State Park.
The name Makoshika (Ma-ko'-shi-ka) is a variant spelling of a Lakota phrase meaning 'bad land' or 'bad earth'.
Today, as Montana's largest state park, the badlands of Makoshika are set aside for visitors to see and enjoy. In addition to the pine and juniper studded badland formations, the park also houses the fossil remains of such dinosaurs as Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops.
We were quite surprised by all the beauty we found in this park. When we topped the hill and saw the "canyon" (badlands) it was amazing.  

The wind was blowing that day and we were able to walk out to the edge (with no railing). Of course, we didn't walk to the edge edge because of the wind and the ground being soft. Standing above the canyon and the huge clouds blowing over head was... how can I say this... it left me speechless! We couldn't talk, it was so amazing.

While we were hiking up hills and down into areas, we noticed the evidence of horses being around.  We talked about how there were no shoe prints in the dirt.  Sure enough we found the wild horses over near the amphitheater at the top. They were grazing in the field and there were three little fellows with their mommas.

While we were sitting and taking pictures a park ranger came through and began making noise so they would not get too close to vehicles and become easy access to visitors.

We learned the dark stripes in the hills are layers of coal. I can't remember what the other layers are right off the top of my head and I can't find my notebook, where I wrote things down.  But any way, I've been wanting to share our first field trip pictures and now's a good time to do just that.


  1. Oh, my Lori!
    They are beautiful!!!! I teach my students where the Badlands are, but wow! The pictures I saw don't do them justice! Just gorgeous! I like that you keep a notebook... That is a fabulous idea! Thank you for posting the origin of the name too. Being a teacher, and wannabe explorer, I love posts like this!!!!

    Blessings and hugs!!!!

    1. I encourage people to visit state and national parks if at all possible. Sometimes, I am a little dumbfounded about the amount of money family and friends put into amusement park vacations. They could spend that money on memory making vacations and see some of the most beautiful scenery that God created instead of lining the pockets of other people.

      My notebook idea came from my first field trip while teaching school. I did this, so I could write down things the class saw and their expressions for a book I made them at the end of the year. I did the book for my kindergartners and first graders. I had to send a monthly and quarterly newsletter out for the older students and I included some of the info in those. Now that I'm homeschooling, I've done for my son, to be able to look back on.

  2. Pretty! I had that state park on my list of places to see when we took our big road trip in 2011, but we just couldn't fit it in. We did see Badlands National Park in SD, which is also amazing.

    Sometimes it's hard to believe that God created so much beauty for us to enjoy. We are so blessed to live in such an awe-inspiring country.

    1. Hi, Wendy!

      I agree, it is hard to believe we live in a country that is full of beauty. Our family is not the amusement park type, but the national and state park type. While I have family members planning their next Disney trip, we are planning our next national park trip. ~Their amazing!

      We've been to the Badlands in SD and loved it!
      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. What a beautiful place, Lori! The formations are amazing!! I didn't know there were still wild horses!! :)


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