Theodore Roosevelt National Park is Impressive

Theodore Roosevelt National Park was a complete mystery to me. First, it’s located in Western North Dakota so it takes some effort to get there. Second, I didn’t know much about the Teddy Roosevelt relationship beforehand. Nor did I know that the Badlands extended up that far but looks different than at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Theodore Roosevelt National Park is impressive. It has incredible views and one of the best National Park drives I’ve seen.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is impressive, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Medora, North Dakota

Welcome to Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Medora, North Dakota

I drove up to Theodore Roosevelt National Park after my morning visit to Wind Cave National Park. It was about 5.5 hours drive through some of the worst storms I’ve ever driven through in South Dakota. It was straight out of Twister minus the tornado!

As I passed into North Dakota and arrived at a small transit town called Bowman, the weather cleared up a bit. This was great because being able to take in the scenery makes a road trip much more enjoyable. I was honestly blown away by the scenery in that part of North Dakota but nothing was as good as when I arrived at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Great lookout as the rains began again

Great lookout as the rains began again

You enter from the south at a small western town called Medora. Then it’s a 36-mile loop road that takes you through most of the park. Of course there are several short hikes you can take to get to great viewpoints-I always do those! And since I arrived late in the afternoon after the rains, the sky was pretty awesome, changing rapidly.

Amazing pink sky in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Amazing pink sky in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The highlights for me were the Wind Canyon Trail hike which is only about a half mile round trip but had the best views in the park. Also, the prairie dog fields where thousands of them live.

Prairie Dog Fields in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Prairie Dog Fields in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Also, just driving around viewing the landscape of Badlands, hills, small mountains and rivers. Plus there were plenty of buffalo roaming around the park. The park reminded me of the Badlands on a mushroom trip.

I think a lot of that had to do with the weather and the sky because it was so rapidly changing. Plus the colors of the hills and rocks were stunning. I really enjoyed the drive and my visit to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Afterwards, I had a decision to make about where I would stay.

Originally I was going to return the car to Bismarck, North Dakota and fly home from there. But because of the holiday, the drop-off fee was over $1000 and flights out of Bismarck were over $700 for coach. So I decided to fly home from Denver and drive back, stopping in Rapid City, South Dakota for the night to break up the drive.

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

This also allowed me to revisit Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse. Those two places are can’t miss spots on any road trip in the area. Plus they should be bucket list places for anyone who likes domestic travel.

Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial

So I accomplished my goal of visiting my 41st, 42nd and 43rd US National Parks. And there’s more to come!

Comments

  1. Did you see some of the wild horses there? I saw two groups of them when I went a couple summers ago. I later was told it is one of the best places to see them on the US up close.

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