Makoshika State Park

Makoshika State Park

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The Badlands Of Eastern Montana

Rising from the Yellowstone valley and surrounding prairies is a broad region of seeming disarray—badlands. Hogback ridges, fluted hillsides, pinnacles, and caprocks ornament a network of buttes. The mineral-banded, soft, sedimentary rocks with their decor of contrasting pines and junipers create a panorama of unique shapes and colors that has a chameleon character, changing with the ever-varying pattern of light and shadow from the passing sun, clouds, moon, and seasons.

When this intriguing, rugged, yet delicate land was set aside as a state park in 1953 it was called Makoshika (Mako’-she-ka). The name is a variant spelling of a Lakota phrase meaning land of bad spirits, “badlands.”

A Look At The Past…

These badlands expose older rock layers than those in the badlands of the Dakotas. Here, the Yellowstone River and its tributaries cut into a fascinating transition in time: the passing from the Age of Reptiles, so dramatically represented by the dinosaurs, to the Age of Mammals.

Most of these strata are the brownish-gray sediments of the Hell Creek Formation dating back 65 million years ago when the Rocky Mountains were rising in the

Opening hours
GMT -11:00
10:00 AM - 06:00 PM
10:00 AM - 06:00 PM
10:00 AM - 06:00 PM
10:00 AM - 06:00 PM
10:00 AM - 06:00 PM
10:00 AM - 06:00 PM
10:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Open all year

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