Theodore Roosevelt National Park Travel Guide
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Plan Your Theodore Roosevelt National Park Vacation

Across much of North Dakota, for a century and a quarter, the terrain remained virtually unchanged from the day Theodore Roosevelt stepped off the train here in 1883, eager to shoot his first bison. Within two weeks, the future 26th president purchased an open-range cattle ranch, and the following year he returned to establish a second, which is part of the 110-square-mile national park that today bears his name. Despite its remote location, Theodore Roosevelt National Park is ideal for those intrepid travelers who revel in bird and wildlife viewing, hiking and backpacking, photography, picnicking, stargazing, and scenic drives.

Today, some 600,000 annual visitors are attracted to North Dakota's lone national park as much by its namesake as by its vast landscape of craggy ravines, tablelands, and gorges, an otherworldly moonscape that ranks among the least inhabited places in the U.S. For those who seek the road less traveled, a day trekking its backcountry trails or remote gravel roads can be a solitary pursuit, uninterrupted by any other humans.


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Top Reasons To Go

  1. The "Granddaddy Trail" Hike the Maah Daah Hey Trail, which means "grandfather" or "been here long." It's one of the most popular and well-maintained trails in western North Dakota.
  2. Views from above Get an encompassing 360-degree view of the badlands from Buck Hill.
  3. History lessons from the frontier View Maltese Cross Ranch Cabin, which once belonged to Theodore Roosevelt.
  4. Badlands Broadway Come experience a theatrical tribute to the history and personalities that make up the Old West at the Medora Musical, located in the town, not the park.
  5. Great clubbing—golf, that is Perfect your swing at Bully Pulpit Golf Course in Medora, one of America's premier courses near the national park.
  6. Away from it all As this is not a heavily visited park, you'll likely encounter more wild horses than people here.

When To Go

When to Go

The park is open year-round, but North Dakota winters can be brutal—very cold and windy. Portions of some roads close during winter months,...

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