We started our day with a 8:30 Geology Talk by the Door Trail. My favorite part of exploring National Parks is meeting all the experts in a variety of fields. The night before we listened to a biologist's presentation about the important role of the prairie dogs. During the morning talk, we hiked the trail with a geologist (pictured above) who shared an abundance of information regarding the rock formations, preservation, and future of the park.
After the talk, we headed out on our own to the Notch Trail. It is described as "moderate to strenuous" hike. My kids had no problems. We were told by our guide that the whole park has no restrictions on where you can go to explore. Apparently the rate of erosion is so high, human impact does not make a difference.
At 11:00 am, we participated in the Junior Ranger Program. We got to learn from a paleontologist. He talked about how fossils were recovered, and what types of fossils were found in the park. Then, he had the kids geared up to do their own excavations. The kids earned a badge for participating.
I also wanted to add that the Paleontology Lab and visitor center are a must stop in the Badlands National Park. We were able to see paleontologists at work, and learned from all the exhibits.