South Dakota Badlands and Grand Tetons Photography Trip Report

New Fine Art Pictures of Norbeck Pass, Devils Tower and the Tetons

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Badlands National Park Photography
Grand Teton National Park Photography

South Dakota is home to Badlands National Park, which contains some of the most unique rock formations that I have ever seen. Also nearby are areas like Custer State Park and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Wyoming is home to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. I had previously been unsuccessful in getting the image of the Tetons in the Spring that I wanted, so a return trip was warranted.

We drove 3000 miles on this trip, beginning our expedition in South Dakota. The Needles Highway runs through this amazing section of rock formations known as The Needles. We were on the move on this expedition and were only going to have one sunrise there. They were covered in heavy fog the day before and we couldn’t find them before it got dark.

The next morning we had to scurry around to find them and then figure out the best location to shoot from. I found the spot just as the clouds were lighting up, got several shots and then the clouds came down and covered them up for the rest of the day. I am rarely this lucky, but you won’t hear me complaining.

Beautiful sunrise skies over the rock formations knows as The Needles in South Dakota
"The Needles" - Click Photo To Purchase

Before heading to Wyoming, we couldn’t resist going over to Devil’s Tower. Ever since Close Encounters of the Third Kind many years ago, I wanted to go by there. We had the good fortune of some dark stormy clouds, which really set the scene. I could just imagine an alien spacecraft coming through them and landing. It was really fun to have had the opportunity. Now I just need to go back when there is a lightning storm!

Stormy clouds over Devils Tower in Wyoming
"Devils Tower Encounter" - Click Photo To Purchase

We crossed Wyoming to get to Grand Teton National Park. My previous efforts here did not result in some nice clouds over the mountains in the morning. We only had three days there, but on the second day, we got the clouds we had hoped for. After that we got some really stormy looking clouds that made for some nice images of the peaks.

A stunning view of the Grand Teton mountains above the pine trees from the beaver pond at Schwabachers Landing
"Schwabachers Landing" - Click Photo To Purchase

A vertical view of storm clouds over the peaks of the Grand Teton mountains
"Morning Storm" - Click Photo To Purchase

Storm clouds over the mountains in Grand Teton National Park
"Storm Coming" - Click Photo To Purchase

We were leaving Grand Teton National Park and headed back to South Dakota and had to go through Togwotee Pass on our way there. To our surprise, there was a late season snowstorm resulting in some beautiful winter scenes near the Pass. It wasn’t really winter, but it sure felt and looked like it.

A fresh Spring snowfall on the trees and field at Togwotee Pass in Wyoming
"Surprise Snow" - Click Photo To Purchase

I had photographed in Badlands National Park some years ago, but were mostly chasing wildlife at the time and not doing much Landscape work. I had always thought there were some real nice opportunities there. It always seems to be a challenge to get some good clouds, especially in the morning. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

The sun rising over the canyon formations in Badlands National Park, South Dakota
"The Badlands" - Click Photo To Purchase

Sunrise skies over a rock formation in Badlands National Park, South Dakota
"Soft Rock" - Click Photo To Purchase

Deep morning shadows on a jagged rock formation in Badlands National Park, South Dakota
"Planet Badlands" - Click Photo To Purchase

Deep shadows in a large rock formation with twin peaks in Badlands National Park, South Dakota
"Twin Peaks" - Click Photo To Purchase

Early sunrise light on the amazing Norbeck Pass rock formation in Badlands National Park, South Dakota
"Norbeck Pass" - Click Photo To Purchase

Next up is a return trip to Oregon in June. We will be working a large area from the coast to inland areas including the Columbia River Gorge.

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