Travel

Nature adventures in North Dakota

In every corner of North Dakota you’ll discover wide open spaces just waiting to be explored

  • Feb 10, 2021
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The Painted Canyon, located in the South Unit near the town of Medora, is simply mesmerizing.
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Be inspired. Which captivating escape will you choose?

Here, the outdoors beckons with wind-sculpted canyons, sprawling views and otherworldly landscapes that dazzle the eye. When the borders reopen, let North Dakota be your getaway.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park lies in western North Dakota, where the Great Plains meet the rugged Badlands. The park is divided into two popular areas: the North Unit draws hikers and nature enthusiasts with ruggedness and beauty, while the more-visited South Unit is most famous for the colourful Painted Canyon.

Hit the trails

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a must-visit for hikers and nature lovers with dozens of hiking trails that take you through colourful canyons, a petrified forest, and open ranges populated by bison, wild horses, prairie dogs and elk. Discover a sense of freedom as you hike, roadbike, horseback ride or canoe, all the while marvelling at a landscape so grand it inspired the president after whom it is named.

A series of popular hiking trails in the South Unit are the perfect way to experience the area’s rugged beauty.
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The renowned 232-km Maah Daah Hey Trail winds its way through every type of terrain found in western North Dakota.
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Get up early; Stay up late

Grab a pair of binoculars and prepare to stop often. Dawn is the best time for birdwatching and, as the sun rises, keep your eyes peeled for the park’s many four-legged residents. Perhaps you’ll spot pronghorns, the fastest land animal in North America. You might spy deer or bison or be one of the lucky few to see a bobcat or hear the coyotes howl at dusk. As night falls, Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a great place to view the night sky. On clear nights, the Milky Way, planets, stars and many constellations are visible.

Wildlife abounds in the Park. Bison (above) roam throughout the park and visitors should also be on the lookout for pronghorns, deer, and even the occasional bobcat.
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Get connected

North Dakota boasts a number of vibrant communities perfectly located at the edge of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Medora bills itself as the base camp to the Park’s South Unit and is a lively tourist centre with many accommodation and dining options, information on Park programs, access to trail rides, and tourist events throughout the year. Watford City, meanwhile, is in the heart of western North Dakota and serves as a hub for the Park’s North Unit and day tips to the Little Missouri National Grasslands and the renowned 232-km Maah Daah Hey Trail that winds its way through every type of terrain found in western North Dakota.

Getting there

Theodore Roosevelt National Park and its surrounding attractions are within a one-day or two-day scenic drive from several Canadian cites, including Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.

Learn more. 

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