Best of the Badlands

5 Days - Wall, SD
May 31 - Jun 4, 2022
Activity Level
Skill Level
All Levels


Take a journey to the Badlands

Registration deadline: April 15, 2022

During this South Dakota photography workshop, we will explore Badlands National Park and locations in the vicinity. Our days will begin at dawn to take advantage of the early morning light. Likewise, we will end each day’s activities at sunset. The lighting in the Badlands during the magic hours of sunrise and sunset casts a warm glow across the landscape.  Subtle hues of red, yellow, and tan become richer and the long shadows create stunning three-dimensional compositions.  Likewise, at dusk and dawn, animals are more active and easily located. We will reserve mid-days for rest, reflection, and image transfer. There will be a variety of photo opportunities including both spectacular scenery and plentiful wildlife.


Once the site of an ancient sea, the South Dakota Badlands have been transformed over thousands of years. Layers of sediment and ash were eroded away leaving behind multi-colored rocks and boulders balanced on pedestals of stone. Eroded canyons and isolated buttes stand as a testament to the power of nature. At first glance, the land seems sterile, yet close examination reveals a variety of photo opportunities. Agile bighorn sheep scale steep canyon walls. Pronghorn and bison graze on nutritious prairie grasses.


Join Sandy for an adventure in Badlands National Park surrounded by unusual geologic formations and her favorite wildlife haunts.

Workshop includes:

  • Pre-workshop webinar
  • 4 nights lodging based on single occupancy
  • Round trip transportation from Rapid City, SD
  • Water, snacks, and group meal
  • Permits and entrance fees
  • Post-workshop critique

Please be aware that the shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change. Each day we will determine which locations are best based on light and weather.  We want to give you the best photo opportunities possible.


Day 0 – Monday, May 30, 2022

  • Arrive in Rapid City, South Dakota

Day 1 – Tuesday, May 31, 2022

  • Meet in the hotel conference room at 8:00 AM for an orientation, introductions, handouts & slideshow
  • Check out of hotel and load gear to drive to Wall, SD.
  • After a lunch break, check into the hotel and unload gear
  • Late afternoon depart for Badlands National Park for our first sunset shoot.

Day 2 – Wednesday, June 1, 2022

  • Depart Best Western parking predawn for the drive to our sunrise shoot
  • Travel to Badlands NP for sunrise, wildlife & points of interest – Unit 1, Loop Road
  • Break for lunch, post-processing & portfolio reviews
  • Depart hotel late afternoon for a sunset shoot in Badlands National Park
  • Return to Wall approximately  late evening

Day 3 – Thursday, June 2, 2022

  • Depart Best Western predawn for a sunrise shoot
  • Travel to Badlands NP for sunrise, wildlife & points of interest – Unit 1, Sage Creek Road
  • Return late morning and break for downtime, downloading, and lunch
  • We will leave late afternoon for another sunset shoot in the park.
  • Travel to Badlands National Park for sunset photography
  • Return to Wall approximately late evening

Day 4 – Friday, June 3, 2022

  • Another early departure for our sunrise shoot in the Badlands.
  • Travel to Badlands NP for sunrise, wildlife & points of interest – Unit 1
  • Break for lunch, post-processing & portfolio reviews
  • Leave hotel late afternoon for our travels
  • Travel to Badlands National Park for sunset photography
  • Return to Wall approximately 9 PM

Day 5 – Saturday, June 4, 2022

  • Our last early departure for our final sunrise shoot
  • Travel to Badlands NP for sunrise, wildlife & points of interest – Unit 1
  • Return to the hotel and check out.
  • Prior to departure home, Sandy will hold a “Show and Share” of participants best 6-8 images from the workshop
  • Return to Rapid City where the workshop adjourns mid-afternoon.

Physical Rating: Easy to Moderate

Shooting locations for this workshop will be close to the road in large, safe pullouts. If participants choose, they can travel on boardwalks and well-worn dirt trails to find their best composition. This workshop is suitable for participants with limited mobility.

Workshop Begins & Ends:

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Rapid City
1416 N. Elk Vale Road
Rapid City, South Dakota 57703
Tel:  (605) 718-7000

The workshop begins and ends at the LaQuinta Inn  & Suites in Rapid City, SD.  A courtesy block of rooms is available for the night prior on May 30th and on the day the workshop ends on June 4th.  This lodging is not included in your workshop fee.  You must contact the hotel directly to make your reservation.  Please book your reservations prior to April 15th.  After that time, accommodations will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  The LaQuinta offers complimentary airport shuttle service.

Lodging During the Workshop

Best Western
712 Glenn St
Wall, SD 57790
Phone: (605) 279-2145

The workshop begins and ends at the Best Western in Wall, SD.  Four nights are included in your workshop fee based on single occupancy.

Sandy Zelasko
There are a number of reputable companies that provide Travel Insurance.  For your convenience, we offer travel protection through TravelEx Insurance Services.  For more information on the available plans or to enroll, go to or contact TravelEx Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0147.  Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. W20
Should you find it necessary to cancel your workshop, the following cancellation policy applies – NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • 91 days or more prior to the start of the workshop your deposit will be refunded less $100
  • 90 days full payment is due
  • 61-90 days your workshop fees will be refunded in the form of an AHPS Store Credit Voucher less $100 administrative fee.  Voucher is good for 18 months.
  • * 60 days or less until departure – No refund.

* If we are able to fill your seat and the workshop runs at full enrollment we will refund your workshop fees less $100 administrative fee.

NOTE:  Workshop bookings including, but not limited to, outfitters, permit agencies, lodging and more are requiring firm financial commitments at 90 days.  Therefore, in order to continue to bring you to great destinations, we must strictly adhere to our cancellation policy as outlined above. We recognize cancellations can sometimes be unavoidable that is why securing a Travel Protection Plan is highly encouraged.

Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel any workshop if our minimum student enrollment is not met. In the event AHPS cancels a workshop, participants will be given the option to reschedule to a later date or receive a full refund for the workshop components booked directly with AHPS.  Please Note: we are not liable for the additional expenses incurred such as airfare, hotel accommodations, or any other components booked outside of the workshop.

PAYMENT TERMS:  A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space.  Please refer to the specific workshop for the required deposit.  Final payments are due 90 days prior to departure.  Approximately 15 days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your balance is coming due.