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South Dakota Landmarks

Hills, ridges, buttes and river bends helped early settlers navigate the vast prairies of Dakota. Our unique landscapes still draw travelers and nature lovers with their rugged beauty. This summer, explore South Dakota geography from the Big Sioux to Harding County with photographer Christian Begeman.

Christian Begeman grew up in Isabel and now lives in Sioux Falls. When he's not working at Midcontinent Communications he is often on the road photographing our prettiest spots around the state.

See more of Christian's photography in his South Dakota Magazine online column or on his photo blog.

Another Good Day in the Badlands

September 16, 2013
Custer called it "a part of hell with the fires burned out," but modern travelers think the Badlands is a great place to visit.

Atop “the wall” looking westward just before sunset. Click to enlarge photos.

Grand River's Wall

September 3, 2013
To truly appreciate southwestern Corson County's beauty, it's best to take it slow.

Early morning view of the Sand Hills of South Dakota. Click to enlarge photos.

Dakota's Other Dunes

August 20, 2013
Once a desert, the Sand Hills in Bennett County are now an oasis for migrating birds and other wildlife.

The west side of Slim Buttes bathed in the light of the evening sun. Click to enlarge photos.

Harding County Treasures

August 5, 2013
Northwestern South Dakota is rich with beauty and scenery at Slim Buttes, the Cave Hills and the Jumpoff. 

Early morning at the lower falls of the Big Sioux in Sioux Falls. Click to enlarge photos.

Sioux Quartzite's Ancient Beauty

July 22, 2013
This hard pink stone forms some of Minnehaha County's most dramatically beautiful scenic spots.

The natural rodeo bowl of Crystal Springs Rodeo near Clear Lake, South Dakota. Click to enlarge pictures.

Coteau Rodeo

July 8, 2013
Get a taste of the Coteau Hills at the Crystal Springs Rodeo, a beloved northeastern South Dakota tradition.

Where the Mighty Mo Bends

June 25, 2013
Wildflowers flutter on the bluffs above the Missouri River's twists and turns.

A fence line accentuates the green prairies that border the Hogback near St. Onge. Click to enlarge pictures.

Between the Prairies and the Mountains

June 11, 2013
The Hogback and the Racetrack, two landforms that surround the Black Hills, are bio-diverse areas full of wildflowers and wildlife.

Rediscovering the Spirit of Exploration

May 28, 2013
Jutting out from the Clay County prairie, Spirit Mound lures nature lovers as it once did Lewis & Clark.

Moonrise above Bear Butte. Click to enlarge photos.

The Rugged Spirituality of Bear Butte

July 9, 2012
A deeply spiritual spot beckons travelers to Meade County with its rough beauty and vibrant history.

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