Wall, South Dakota (Badlands NP)

Nomad View Dispersed Camping

June 3, 2021

Following a quick two-night stay up in the Black Hills, we made our way out of the mountains and onto the plains for the second half of our South Dakota honeymoon. However, to describe our next campsite simply as “the plains” doesn’t exactly do it justice – we were camping on the edge of the friccin’ Badlands after all!

This location, formally known as the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands Nomad View Dispersed Camping area (quite the mouthful), had been on our RV bucket list before we even decided to take the plunge into the “fulltime” lifestyle. Several of our favorite RV Youtubers had videos highlighting their stay here and we were just blown away by the landscape with sites right on the edge of the cliff. Hell, this spot was even briefly featured in the 2020 movie Nomadland. We would love to boondock more often, but because Sam needs electrical hookups in order to work, it isn’t something that we normally do. However, since she was off work for the week, we just had to make our pilgrimage to this RV Mecca and see it for ourselves!

We thoroughly enjoyed camping here, however, there was one downside – it was friccin’ hot! We had the misfortune of arriving just in time for a record-breaking heatwave for this time of year (early June) and temperatures were well into the nineties each day. What a time to not have AC… Although it wasn’t the most comfortable, Sam and I could get out of the trailer and under the awning which offered at least a little breeze (we even took the opportunity to shower outside in our bathing suits with the hose to help cool off). Unfortunately, the same could not be said for poor (and slightly overweight) Ms. Charlotte, who was stuck inside the boiling RV. In order to keep our little girl cool, we were forced to take turns rubbing her down with ice cubes during the heat of the day.

If Wall, South Dakota sounds familiar to you, it’s probably due to the world-famous Wall Drug, which was just a few miles up the road from our campsite. Although Sam and I aren’t usually into the real touristy stuff, we figured that we had to swing by while we were in the area and see what the hype was all about.

If you ever find yourself driving along I-80 and need a break, definitely stop by Wall Drug and give it a tour – it’s quite the spectacle. They had all sorts of goodies to eat/drink and if we had more room within the trailer, we probably would’ve found a few things to take home with us from the gift shops (of which there were several).

Once we had seen all that Wall Drug had to offer, we made our way back home to check on our little girl. After a thorough ice bath, we hopped back into the truck, this time to hit Wall’s other major attraction – the Badlands National Park (you may have heard of it).

Although we had high hopes going in, the Badlands somehow managed to exceed our lofty expectations in a matter of minutes. We were blown away by the sheer vastness of these strange rock formations as they seemed to just go on forever! We drove around for more than an hour, and even then, we only managed to cover the very northeastern corner of the park. We could’ve stayed and explored for days, however, the sun was beginning to set, and we had to get back to the trailer so that we could get it prepped for our move the next day. But don’t go thinking that you’ve seen the last of us, Badlands. We will be back!

Back at the trailer, we spent the last few hours of our honeymoon soaking in a stunning South Dakota sunset before doing a little stargazing next to a good old-fashioned campfire.