This park in western North Dakota’s badlands, known as the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, is owned and managed by the United States of America. Theodore Roosevelt National Park is the only U.S. national park named after a single individual. The North Unit, the South Unit, and the Elkhorn Ranch Unit combine to make up the park’s 70,446 acres. The park’s South Unit is located near Medora, North Dakota, along Interstate 94. About 80 miles north of the South Unit, Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch is in the middle of both units. In all three park sections, the Little Missouri River may be found. There are three sections of the Maah Daah Hey Trail, which links them all together. Both of the park’s major sections have beautiful drives, nearly 100 miles of foot and horse paths, animal watching, and backcountry hiking and camping options. In 2018, the park attracted 749,389 visits for leisure purposes.
Entrances to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park
South Unit, North Unit, and Elkhorn Ranch Unit make up the park. The North and South Units of the park, which get the most visitors, are separated by a one-hour drive.
North Unit is 133 miles west of Bismarck and 27 miles east of the Montana state boundary. Exits 24 and 27 of Interstate 94 may be used to go to Medora in North Dakota’s South Unit. It is located immediately inside the park’s Medora entrance. Located 7 miles east of Medora, the Painted Canyon Visitor Center is accessible by exit 32 of Interstate 94.
Use this location to get GPS instructions to the Medora South Unit Park entrance:
Medora, North Dakota, United States 58645 201 East River Road
About 14 miles south of Watford City and 50 miles north of Belfield lies the North Unit’s entrance on US Highway 85. To get to Belfield, North Dakota, use U.S. Highway 85 north, exiting at Exit 42 off Interstate 94.
Using this location, you may get directions to the North Unit through GPS.
Watford City, North Dakota 58854 208 Scenic Drive.
Elkhorn Ranch Unit
To go to the most isolated part of the park, you’ll need to carefully follow the instructions on the map. In the winter or during and after rain showers, the last three miles of the trip may need a 4-wheel drive and/or a high-clearance vehicle. Visitor centers in parks may provide information on current road conditions. Map and driving instructions are available on the Elkhorn Ranch Unit page.
Seasonal Road Closures
Winter weather may block park roads and highways outside of the park. Prior to your visit, check the park road status and the North Dakota highway status.
How to reach the Theodore National Park?
In and out of the North and South sections
There is no better way to see the park than in your own car or private passenger transport. In both the North and South Units of the park, visitors may enjoy picturesque roads with several pullouts and viewpoints. To ensure everyone’s safety as well as the protection of the park’s animals, please drive within the prescribed speed limits and respect all traffic signals.
Due to weather, road work, or other circumstances, certain park roads may be closed at any moment. Please check the Road Closures page for the most up-to-date information.
Ride a bike along the park’s gorgeous roadways and take in the breathtaking views of Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s dramatic terrain.
Recreational Vehicles and Vehicles with Trailers
A few of our park roads were initially constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1940s, and as a result, they may be small and curvy. Visitors in big vehicles, such as RVs, should be aware of their surroundings when driving in the park.
Hiking and Horseback Riding
Hiking and horseback riding are the greatest ways to get the most out of your visit to the park.
Elkhorn Ranch Unit
Located between the park’s north and South Units, Elkhorn Ranch is an isolated 218-acre location on the Little Missouri River. The Little Missouri National Grassland provides a network of private and public dirt roads via which the property may be accessed. Anyone planning to visit the site should have a four-wheel-drive vehicle with high clearance. The usage and weather have a seasonal effect on road conditions. Find out how to travel to the Elkhorn by checking out the directions provided.