You may be wondering why this park is named Badlands. There are several origins. The Native American tribe Lakota called this harsh terrain “mako sica” (land bad) because it was unsuitable for settlement and farming. French-Canadian fur trappers had a similar assessment. Their term was “les mauvaises terres pour traverser.” This means “bad lands to traverse.” Over time, the lowercase word badlands has become a geological term. It is reserved for vast areas displaying colorful cliffs, hills, rock formations, canyons and ravines resulting from deposition and erosion over millions of years. Other badlands in the United States are located in North Dakota, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, Nebraska and California.