It was my last day in the park and I wanted to hike this lengthy loop route. I figured the trails should be dried out after the snow melt so, off I went. Western wheatgrass is the predominant grass in the prairie areas of the park. Growing one to two feet (30 - 61 centimeters) high, it is a sod builder and thrives on the clay soils of the Badlands.
Of course, I was immediately intrigued by the spiky plants on the prairie. I asked about them later, at the visitor center, and found that they are mullein, an invasive species. The ranger I talked to happened to be working on the control of such non-native plants.
The Castle-Medicineroot Loop
Badlands National Park
South Dakota, USA