No Growl. All Howl.
We stopped at the Ranch Store, lured in by a colony of very peanut loving Prairie Dogs. The store was closed for the season but the Prairie Dogs were open for business. They were very friendly and are good camera subjects as they sit pretty still while cracking open a peanut shell.
History of The Ranch Store of the Badlands
The Ranch Store originated in the early 1950s along the old Highway 16 in Kadoka, SD. Like many businesses of that time, The Ranch Store’s original location was no longer viable after the completion of Interstate 90.
In 1971, the former owner moved The Ranch Store and the famous six-ton Prairie Dog to its present location. It was 1972 when the current owner, Leo Koenig purchased the Ranch Store.
The feature event at The Ranch Store is the same as it was fifty years ago – a large prairie dog colony to the north of the store, where one can walk among the dogs and toss them a snack of unsalted peanuts. Standing fortress to the entire colony is, of course, the six-ton Prairie Dog. Just as it was fifty years ago, there is still free admission.
The gift shop carries a wide variety of affordable gifts, a large selection of both children’s and adult t-shirts, and locally made products. One can also find the usual camera supplies, postcards, and of course the elusive postcard stamps that everyone forgets to purchase before they left home.
Refreshments and picnic tables are also available for your enjoyment before your journey to the park.
Don’t forget to feed the Prairie Dogs.The Ranch Store is open from late May through mid September.
Store Hours: 8AM to 6PM MST