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Location: Medora

Day 1 - 1 May 2019

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Medora, Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Medora, Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Medora, Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Content: Our road trip The Theodore Roosevelt National Park started from Medora. The park is broken out into three units; South Unit, North Unit, and the Elkhorn Ranch Unit. Outside of the visitor centers, services are few and far between in the park. The biggest draw in all three units is the wildlife you are sure to encounter around every corner.

Location: Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Day 1 - 1 May 2019

South Unit

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, South Unit
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, South Unit
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, South Unit

Content: This park has the easiest access point, as it is located right off of Interstate 94. Camping is available in this unit at the Cottonwood Campground year-round. The unit is also very close to the quaint town of Medora, North Dakota. The unit showcases a 36 mile scenic drive through the area.

Location: South Unit

Day 1 - 1 May 2019

South Unit Visitor Center

South Unit, South Unit Visitor Center
South Unit, South Unit Visitor Center
South Unit, South Unit Visitor Center

Content: Great stop to learn about the park and the preservation that is going on in the area. There is a video viewing room that shares the history of the park and the time that Roosevelt spent there. Surprisingly, it kept our 9-year old’s attention. It also shares the wildlife you can expect to see which made us very excited about the day ahead. There is a nice little gift shop, along with Roosevelts Maltese Cross Cabin. The architecture was pretty neat on the cabin!

Boicourt Overlook

South Unit, Boicourt Overlook
South Unit, Boicourt Overlook
South Unit, Boicourt Overlook

Content: Our personal favorite trail of the entire trip. We walked across a strip of land that narrows to an astonishing overlook. As we made our way we saw bison running down the hill. The bison are not very graceful and it was quite a show to watch. When we got to the overlook it is a huge valley that gave us a bit of a Jurassic Park feel.

Cole Vein Trail

South Unit, Cole Vein Trail
South Unit, Cole Vein Trail

Content: The area was literally on fire at one point for years and the trail has signs of this. A great reminder of the power of nature. This trail was one of the more strenuous, but still manageable with good shoes and plenty of water. The trail markers weren’t super clear on this one so keep track of where you are going in case you go on a trail that is not so much a trail. We went down one that ended up being a steep drop off eventually.

Old East Entrance Station

South Unit, Old East Entrance Station
South Unit, Old East Entrance Station
South Unit, Old East Entrance Station

Content: Completely level trail lined with hundreds of prairie dogs. They hilariously yell at you as you walk by. Some are brave and don’t hide, but most shy away as you get closer. The end of the trail is the old entrance to Roosevelt National Park, and just another cool bit of history to explore

Badlands Overlook

South Unit, Badlands Overlook
South Unit, Badlands Overlook
South Unit, Badlands Overlook

Content: Exactly what it sounds like. Another trail that is well worth the views. Super vibrant colors!

Skyline Vista Trail

South Unit, Skyline Vista Trail
South Unit, Skyline Vista Trail
South Unit, Skyline Vista Trail

Content: This tiny trail gives a nice view of the town of Medora, and is a fantastic place to watch the sunset. The colors play nicely off the landscape of the badlands.

Theodore's Dining Room

South Unit, Theodore's Dining Room

Content: We had a wonderful experience eating here for dinner. The service was phenomenal, professional, and very attentive. The food was also fantastic.

Location: Medora

Day 1 - 1 May 2019

AmericInn by Wyndham Medora

Medora, AmericInn by Wyndham Medora
Medora, AmericInn by Wyndham Medora
Medora, AmericInn by Wyndham Medora

Content: Location is excellent, very close to the park and walking distance to restaurant and shops. Waking up with the view of the mountains is a bonus

Location: Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Day 2 - 2 May 2019

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Content: The name gives it away, but this panorama of badlands can be viewed right from atop the visitor center or you can get a little more up close and personal by following the trails. I would recommend just viewing the overlook and not exploring the trails as you have a fun filled day ahead, and the trails here are not that spectacular. This visitors center is right off of Interstate 94 and makes it a convenient stop on your way to the North Unit.

North Unit

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Unit
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Unit

Content: The North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt park is a 14 mile scenic drive, but still offers plenty of hiking and trails to explore. The North Unit is about an hour north of Interstate 85, located off of ND Highway 85. The journey is well worth it to see a different perspective of the park. Primitive sites are located at the Juniper Campground.

Location: North unit

Day 2 - 2 May 2019

River Bend Overlook

North unit, River Bend Overlook
North unit, River Bend Overlook
North unit, River Bend Overlook

Content: This is perhaps the single most spectacular view of either the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It looks down over the Little Missouri river into impressive variations of badlands terrain. From here there is a beautiful view not just of the river but of the valley and the buttes on the other side of the river that lead into the Achenbach Hills.

Caprock Coulee Trail

North unit, Caprock Coulee Trail
North unit, Caprock Coulee Trail
North unit, Caprock Coulee Trail

Content: This is a 4.2 mile loop. You have option to do only first 0.7 mile which is a Caprick Coulee nature trail. We hiked to river bend overlook and then hiked back to the parking lot.

Oxbow Overlook

North unit, Oxbow Overlook
North unit, Oxbow Overlook
North unit, Oxbow Overlook

Content: Beautiful culmination to the 14 mile road travelling through Theodore Roosevelt National Park. You can see for miles and look down into what my family calls the baby Grand Canyon. There is access to trails for hiking and enough parking to make it convenient.

Medora

North unit, Medora
North unit, Medora

Content: On the drive back to the South Unit to camp after a long day of hiking we wandered around the town of Medora. It has a cute touristy feel, but we liked how you could tell the locals really took pride in the town. They offer a musical that we were too tired to view, but we didn’t pass up the taffy shop and other little gems in the town’s shopping district.

Location: Medora

Day 2 - 2 May 2019

Badlands Pizza Parlor

Medora, Badlands Pizza Parlor

Content: The Badlands Pizza Parlor has a variety of pizza offerings, all of which are delicious. Service has always been prompt, and friendly. The atmosphere was pleasant, fairly roomy, and the place nicely decorated.

Location: Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Day 3 - 3 May 2019

Petrified Forest Loop Trail

Theodore Roosevelt National Park	, Petrified Forest Loop Trail
Theodore Roosevelt National Park	, Petrified Forest Loop Trail
Theodore Roosevelt National Park	, Petrified Forest Loop Trail

Content: Classified as a Wilderness Trail, do not pass this up if you visit the area! The trail is a 10.2 mile loop trail, however we felt we got the full experience by making the 3 mile trek to the South Petrified Forest. The trail is a bit overgrown in some areas, and you need to be mindful of all the bison “waste.” It appears they use the trail more frequently than humans! If you haven’t seen petrified wood up close, this is a really neat way to experience it.

Elkhorn Ranch Unit

Theodore Roosevelt National Park	, Elkhorn Ranch Unit
Theodore Roosevelt National Park	, Elkhorn Ranch Unit
Theodore Roosevelt National Park	, Elkhorn Ranch Unit

Content: This unit is the area where Roosevelt spent time to grieve after the passing of his mother and wife. Although it takes a little more time to get here due to the unpaved roads, it is still a treat to visit. This area is a very peaceful stretch of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Perfect place to end our trip and we went back to Medora.