Named for the one and only Teddy Roosevelt, this National Park in North Dakota is separated into three distinct sections, or “units”. North, South, and Elkhorn Ranch. No matter where you venture, though, you’ll be wowed by the one-of-a-kind landscape. It’s no wonder that it’s the most state’s popular tourist attraction.
Things to Do in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Watch For Wildlife
Walk on the wild side, or just admire those who do! Many amazing animals make the park their home, so you never know what you’ll spot roaming through the badlands. In particular, be on the lookout for bison, elk, and prairie dogs. Speaking of animals, Roosevelt himself was an avid equestrian, so it makes sense that the park encourages horseback riding. You can ride your own horse, or temporarily make use of one that lives on the premises.
Explore on Foot
Ready to rough it? Grab a permit, and you can’t get much closer to nature than a backcountry camping expedition in one of three designated areas. Here, you’re allowed to stay for up to 14 days. If you’re curious about how the park’s namesake lived, check out his Maltese Cross Cabin, located in the South Unit. This area, which includes the historic town of Medora, also features a 19th-century mansion with 27 rooms, in addition to the gorgeous Bully Pulpit Golf Course.
Thrill-seeking snow bunnies can take advantage of the average 30 inches of white stuff that falls in the area every winter — and even well into spring — by strapping on some skis or snowshoes. And when it all melts, beautiful rock formations are revealed.
Take to the Water
See what you can reel in from the Little Missouri River, which draws both sport and leisure fishermen. And don’t forget about canoeing or kayaking as well! Given the unpredictable weather, however, a visit during late spring and early summer is your best bet.
Several hiking trails, ranging from easy to strenuous, also run through the park. Want to speed things up a bit? All park roads (but not trails) are open to cyclists, as well.
Enjoy a Scenic Drive
If you’d prefer not to traverse the park by foot or bike, The North Unit offers a 15-mile scenic road, complete with a panoramic view, that’s perfect for a leisurely drive. The South Unit boasts a similar stretch that’s 36 miles long, overlooks amazing terrain, and provides prime opportunities for wildlife-peeping.