Theodore Roosevelt National Park – South and North Unit
Website – https://www.nps.gov/thro/index.htm
Medora, North Dakota
This summer, our big adventure was having a new baby. But LAST summer we took a month-long road trip out to Montana.
New “National Park” national park #2 for us on this trip was Theodore Roosevelt in North Dakota. I wasn’t expecting much out of our two night, two day stay, pretty much just another Badlands National Park. Instead I found a real contender for one of my favorite national parks.
We rolled into Medora in the late afternoon, having stopped a few places in our drive across most of North Dakota to get here. Our first stop was the rest stop off of I-90, which featured a just closed visitors center and a very pretty view. Then it was off at the Medora exit and into the southern unit of the park, where we drove past a prarie dog village and set up camp for the night.
As it grew dark, my wife decided to put Tree Rider to bed. To make things easier, The Pres and I took a drive. We ended up on a bluff watching a bison watch the sunset.
The the bison and the two of us went to sleep.
The next morning, it was up and to the Visitors Center for the opening. Behind the Visitors Center was one of Teddy Roosevelt’s cabins from when he lived in the North Dakota badlands.
We then drove past the prairie dogs and the campground again to get onto the scenic loop drive. It was very pretty, and we stopped a lot to take pictures.
We then stretched our legs on the Ridgeline Trail (0.6 miles). It was a steep climb to start…
But the views on the loop at the top were well worth the steps.
Then it was back into the car to finish the loop.
There was more beautiful scenery, but The Pres flipped out when we drove into the midst of a bison herd.
I’m not sure I’d ever seen him so excited as he was with those bison.
We finished up the loop and drove back past the campsite.
We then drove into town to get a few things done, as well as to let the kids go on a playground and get some play time in. It was set up like a frontier fort… totally awesome. Then it was back to our campground, dinner, and another sunset.
In the morning, we packed up camp and hopped in the car. We drove over an hour to the less visited Northern Unit of the park. Here was more great scenery and more bison.
Then, it was off to drive across the rest of North Dakota (stopped off at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site… completing our tour of all three national park units in North Dakota) and a huge chunk of Montana on our way to a week in Glacier National Park.
But even with that so soon, we wouldn’t forget about Roosevelt National Park anytime soon.
Our previous day (well, two days ago)? Voyageurs National Park – International Falls, Minnesota
Our next week? Glacier National Park in Montana!
Bison and other animals, beautiful views, geology, great campsite.
North Dakota is far away, which makes me sad.