Skip to main content

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 8; Badlands National Park and former US Route 16A on South Dakota State Route 240 t

After visiting Rockerville I continued northeast towards I-90 on US 16 and the US 16 Bypass Route of Rapid City.  I swung easterly on I-90/US Route 14 towards Badlands National Park and South Dakota State Route 240 (a former routing of SD 40 and US 16A) from I-90 exit 131.


This blog serves as Part 8 in the 2016 Summer Mountain Trip Series.  Part 7 from Rockerville, SD and US 16 can be found here:

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 7; Rockerville, SD the ghost town surrounded by US 16

SD 240 is an approximately 40 mile loop of I-90 which traverses through the eastern segment of Badlands National Park.  From the eastern terminus in Jackson County at I-90 exit 131 SD 240 jogs southward and has a junction with SD 248.  SD 240 continues south into Badlands National Park within a couple miles from I-90.  Upon entering Badlands National Park SD 240 runs on Badlands Loop Road comes across the Big Badlands Overlook.






Badlands National Park consists of a series of eroded buttes and pinnacles which stands over the largest undisturbed grass prairie in the United States.  Badlands was set aside as a National Monument in 1929 before being elevated to a National Park in 1978.


Hiking trails in Badlands National Park are some lacking compared to most National Parks unless you can traverse the eroded buttes.


South of the Big Badlands Overlook SD 240 descends through Cedar Pass towards the White River watershed and follows a largely western course.  There is an overlook on the Cliff Shelf Nature Trail of the White River.  Below the Cliff shelf SD 240 passes by SD 377 and the Ben Reifel Visitor Center.


On it's westward trek SD 240 passes various overlooks of the surrounding landscape as it crosses into Pennington County.  I found most of the parking areas to make decent enough short trail heads.  The path of SD 240 and the Badlands Loop Road generally follows the terrain closely dipping in/out of the buttes in the process.










At Rim Road the routing of SD 240 swings northward again out of Badlands National Park and ends at I-90 in Wall.  The Park Boundary was oddly marked by a derelict goat starring down traffic.






As stated above almost the entirety of SD 240 was part of US 16A.  From Wall US 16A split from US 16 through Badlands National Park.  At what is now SD 377 the routing of US 16A picked up the original alignment of SD 40.  Both US 16A and SD 40 continued over Cedar Pass onto the routing of SD 248.  US 16A and SD 40 met what was the main line US 16 on what is today SD 73 north of I-90.  The original alignments of US 16A and SD 40 can be seen on this 1949 South Dakota State Highway Map.

1949 South Dakota State Highway Map

My understanding is that the Badlands Loop Road was upgraded completely to gravel by 1944 but I'm not uncertain when it was signed as US 16A.  US 16A was apparently replaced by SD 240 in 1980 when US 16 was truncated to Rapid City.

USends on US 16

Part 9 of the 2016 Summer Mountain Trip Series can be found here:

2016 Summer Mountain Trip; US Route 14A in the Homestake Mining District and Spearfish Canyon

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n

One Long Drive - Allegheny County's Orange Belt

When I trace my early interest in traveling and the hobby of roadgeeking, I always go back to where I grew up. Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA 48, and the Orange Belt. I grew up on Route 48 in Elizabeth Township on the Orange Belt. One of my family's favorite stories of me growing up is when I was around three years old - so 1980 - I told one of my aunts, "It's not that hard to get to our house - we live on the Orange Belt!"  The Allegheny County Belt System is one of the many things that are uniquely Pittsburgh. A series of existing roadways - minor and major - developed in post-World War II Allegheny County to navigate the region. Never intended to be a "beltway" in the modern sense - a full freeway encircling a city - the Allegheny County system is more like a wayfinding system connecting you throughout the county. It is uniquely Pittsburgh - it's been asked about , written about , and videoed .  On a recent visit home, I decided to drive the entire

Mosquito Road Bridge

The Mosquito Road Bridge is a wooden suspension span crossing the South Fork American River of El Dorado County.  The Mosquito Road Bridge incorporates elements in it's foundation which date back to 1867 making it likely the oldest highway bridge in California still is in service for it's original purpose.  The Mosquito Road Bridge can be found approximately 6.5 miles northeast of downtown Placerville.    Author's Note; Gribblenation's 2,000th published blog This blog serves as the 2,000th published entry on the Gribblenation blog site.  Ironically the the 2,000th blog entry closely aligns with the 20th anniversary of Gribblenation.  Adam and Doug recently discussed the history of Gribblenation on the Gribblenation 20th Anniversary Podcast: https://anchor.fm/gribblenation/episodes/Gribblenation-20th-Anniversary-Podcast-ep2nh8 For my own part I (Tom) have been part of Gribblenation since late 2016, it has been an honor to be part of one of the longest lived highway pages