Close up of a bison in the hill country of the North Dakota Badlands

American bison, or buffalo were nearly extinct after numbering in the millions in the 1800s. Today, you can get a glimpse of the magnificent beasts, but be prepared, they are not safe.

The historic Snowden Bridge just inside the Montana border a few thousand yards from North Dakota.

Bison in North Unit in front of Badlands Hill at the North Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

A prairie dog nibbles on springtime vegetation.

Ranchers will tell you these disease-carrying varmints ruin their pastures with miles of burrow that can collapse or can ruin the ecology. Still, tourists with cameras love to get a shot of them when they find a prairie dog town.

Two horses walk up the public road that meanders through their Badlands pasture.

Free range grazing of horses along the scoria roads of the Badlands means you as the traveler on the road are the “out-of-place” visitor to their home.

Green pastures in the spring along the Little Missouri River in McKenzie County

The river bottom along the Little Missouri River that flows through the Badlands gives scarce and valuable hydration to the pastues along the valley floor southwest of Grass Butte.

Sunset behind the hills in the North Dakota Badlands.

After a late afternoon rain shower, the sun peaks between the hills at sunset about a mile west of the Maah Daah Hey trail.

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The Snowden Lift Bridge across the Missouri River.

The Snowden Lift Bridge with a lift section to allow steamboats to pass below on the Missouri River. It was never used. The bridge doubled as a train and rail bridge until the mid 1980s when auto traffic was discontinued. A new vehicle bridge was built 4 miles down stream.

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