Exploring Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Theodore Roosevelt National Park

A visit to Theodore Roosevelt National Park will provide a lasting impression of this landscape which has been described as a "hell without fire". The scene still resembles one from the late 1800s, with bison and elk roaming freely through the grasslands, and the Little Missouri River cutting through the floodplain of the badlands. The park consists of three parts: North Unit, South Unit and Elkhorn Ranch Unit, where Roosevelt's ranch once stood.

The park can be reached via the town of Medora. Medora's history dates back to the late 19th Century when the town was founded. Theodore Roosevelt owned two large cattle ranches near Medora before he became President.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Theodore Roosevelt National Park View slideshow

For visitors who only have time for a brief visit, the Scenic Drive will take you to Painted Canyon Overlook, from where there is a good view. Those interested in longer stays will find many hiking trails of varying lengths, and camping facilities. Backcountry camping is allowed but a permit must be obtained first. Canoeing down the Little Missouri River is another option for seeing the park, as is horseback riding. Information is available at any of the three visitors centers, two of which are located in the South Unit, and another in the North Unit. The park is also open in the winter. Visitors are welcome to cross-country ski or snowshoe, but trails are not groomed for these activities.

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