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

The Central Freeway of San Francisco (US Route 101)

The Central Freeway is a 1.2-mile elevated limited access corridor in the city of San Francisco.  As presently configured the Central Freeway connects from the end of the Bayshore Freeway to Market Street.  The Central Freeway carries the mainline of northbound US Route 101 from the Bayshore Freeway to Mission Street. The Central Freeway has origins with the establishment of Legislative Route Number 223 and is heavily tied to the history of the once proposed Panhandle Freeway.  The Central Freeway between the Bayshore Freeway and Mission Street was completed during 1955.  The corridor was extended to a one-way couplet located at Turk Street and Golden Gate Avenue in 1959 which served to connect US Route 101 to Van Ness Avenue.  The Central Freeway was damaged by the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and has since been truncated to Market Street.   The Central Freeway as pictured on the blog cover was featured in the May/June 1959 California Highways & Public Works.  The scan below is fro

The Bayshore Freeway (US Route 101)

The Bayshore Freeway is a 56.4-mile component of US Route 101 located in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The Bayshore Freeway connects the southern extent of San Jose to the Central Freeway in the city of San Francisco.  The corridor was originally developed as the Bayshore Highway between 1923 and 1937.  The Bayshore Highway would serve briefly as mainline US Route 101 before being reassigned as US Route 101 Bypass in 1938.  Conceptually the designs for the Bayshore Freeway originated in 1940 but construction would be delayed until 1947.  The Bayshore Freeway was completed by 1962 and became mainline US Route 101 during June 1963.   Part 1; the history of the Bayshore Freeway Prior the creation of the Bayshore Highway corridor the most commonly used highway between San Jose and San Francisco was El Camino Real (alternatively known as Peninsula Highway).  The  American El Camino Real  began as an early example of a signed as an Auto Trail starting in 1906.  The era of State Highway Mainte

The history of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California

The historic corridor of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 through the borderlands of southern California share a largely mutual history.  Both highways originated in the city of San Diego and departed the state at the Colorado River into Yuma, Arizona.  Both highways share numerous famous geographical components such as the Mountain Springs Grade and Algodones Sand Dunes.  This article serves as a comprehensive history of the combined US Route 80/Interstate 8 corridor in California from the tolled stage route era of the nineteenth century to the development of the modern freeway.   The blog cover photo features US Route 80 along the Mountains Springs Grade through In-Ko-Pah Gorge during late 1920s.  This photo is part of the Caltrans McCurry Collection. Part 1; the history of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California share a largely mutual history.  The backstory of both highways is tied heavily to the corridors of the Old Spanish Trail, Legisl