Places to Visit in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in North Dakota. Although it is one of the area’s most underrated National Parks in the state. It offers endless opportunities and breathtaking views which are worth visiting. The park is North Dakota’s only national park. Here we have mentioned the top places to visit in Theodore Roosevelt.

South Unit

South Unit is one of the most visited areas of the park. It is located along Interstate 94. It has two visitor centers, a scenic drive, hiking trails, and plenty of watchable wildlife points. South Uit has many short hiking trails suitable for day or overnight hikes.  

The South Unit has a 36-mile scenic loop road. The drive begins at the South Unit Visitor Center.  About a mile, you’ll come to the Ridgeline Nature Trail. If you like to take this short hike, we can get down at Ridgeline Nature Trail. Then comes the North Dakota Badlands Overlook with stunning views. It takes at least 1.5 hours to complete the drive.

North Unit

North unit is a visited area of the park due to its ruggedness. The North Unit is located along ND Highway 85. Since the area is less visited, if you love to travel to a lonely place, the North unit is the perfect destination. North Unit known for its ruggedness and beauty.

To experience the rugged splendor of the park drive along the park’s North Unit Scenic Byway. The byway begins 15 miles south of Watford City from U.S. Highway 85 and proceeds west through the North Unit of the park. As most of the area is filled with wilderness, driving through the unit offers stunning views and you also get to spot wildlife such as prairie dogs, bighorn sheep, coyotes and more.

Prairie Dog Town

Prairie Dogs are some of the cutest animals and watching them is one of the fun activities. Prairie Dog Town is one of the best places in the park to spot these cute ones. The trail is about  3.1 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Watford City, North Dakota. The best time to visit is from April to September. 

Prairie Dogs are known for popping in and out of holes in the ground. They live in huge colonies and make massive networks underground. It’s very entertaining to watch them play. You can experience them yourself by taking a trail to Prairie Dog Town

Painted Canyon Overlook

Painted Canyon Trail is a 1 mile loop trail located near Fairfield, North Dakota. The trail offers an opportunity to see the wildlife of the park. You also get to see the stunning colorful contours of Painted Canyon. The trail is suitable for all levels for hikers. Near the halfway point, you get to see the petrified remains of ancient trees lining the trail. At the end of the trail is an intersection with Paddock Creek Trail.

Oxbow Overlook 

Oxbow Overlook is a 0.3 kilometer loop trail located near Arnegard, North Dakota. It offers some of the best views and is suitable for all levels of hikers. It is the perfect spot in the park for stargazing. 

It offers a spectacular scenic view. You get to explore a short accessible sidewalk and take in the views of the Little Missouri River surrounded by tall cottonwood trees. Oxbow Overlook represents a type of meander that is occurring in the river.

Petrified Forest Loop

The Petrified Forest Loop Trail is a 10.4-mile loop. The trail uses the Maah Daah Hey Trail to connect the North and South Petrified Forest Trails. Most of the trail, including the Maah Daah Hey, is through prairie grassland. The trail gives beautiful panoramic views of the badlands.

The trailhead for Petrified Forest Loop cannot be reached from the main road through Theodore Roosevelt National Park. You can start from Medora, go west on I-94 then take exit 23. Go north Forest Service Road 730 and then you can see the signs for the Petrified Forest.

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