Most hilly regions on Athas are rocky badlands – highty eroded mazes of sharp-edged ridges, winding canyons, and thorn-choked ravines. Daunting escarpments force travelers into meandering courses along the ravine floors, which often end in blind canyons or loop back on themselves. Badlands can be barren, waterless wastes, but many are filled with thorny brush that can completely clog ravine floors.
Rocky badlands are difficult to cross, no matter which way a traveler means to go. Sticking to a canyon’s floor is easy enough, but a canyon rarely leads in the direction one desires, and the thick, prickly brush makes for very hard going. Climbing up the walls to crest a badland ridge usually involves a dangerous scramble of several hundred feet, and travel along the top of a knife-edged ridge is equally challenging.