Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Travel back in time to the badlands, a world of bison, never-ending prairies and lively pioneer towns. 

Visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park and hike through lush forests and sparse scrubland to find fabulous viewpoints and colossal canyons. Watch graceful golden eagles soaring high above and admire bison roaming across endless plains. 

Immerse yourself in badlands culture in the park’s southern unit. Painted Canyon Visitor Center offers excellent viewing of the landscape. Stroll along Medora’s streets of old ranches and rickety wooden hotels. Follow the open road of the 36-mile (57-kilometer) scenic drive. Experience the park as Roosevelt once did as you travel through a range of fascinating landscapes. Trail the winding Little Missouri River and watch prairie dogs playing in the sun. 

Leave your car to explore the park’s scenic paths. The Skyline Vista is a gentle 10-minute amble toward the superb lookout point of Johnson’s Plateau. Climb the steeper route up Buck Hill to reach the highest accessible point in the park.

To enter the wilderness, drive along the Petrified Forest Loop in the northwest corner of the south unit. Here you’ll find lush woodland with open fields of elk, deer, bison and wild horses. 

Drive north through the Little Missouri Grasslands where you may see pronghorns, very fast animals resembling antelope. Travel to the less populated northern unit. At Oxbow Lookout, gaze over a colossal river canyon. Discover an variety of animals and plants along the 11-mile (18-kilometer) Buckhorn Trail. 

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is in western North Dakota. The south unit entrance leads to Medora, 133 miles (214 kilometers) west of Bismarck. The north unit entrance is 14 miles (22 kilometers) south of Watford City. The park is open year-round and has an admission fee. 

Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park was established in 1947 to honor president Roosevelt, who was an avid adventurer and explorer. He once said, “The beauty and charm of the wilderness are his for the asking, for the edges of the wilderness lie close beside the beaten roads of the present travel.” Roosevelt and other leaders set aside vast wilderness areas to create the U.S. national parks to ensure this beauty would be available for future travelers, a foresight which you can appreciate when you visit. Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park was given National Park status in 1978.

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