Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in the badlands of western North Dakota. The park is split into 3 separate units: South Unit, Elkhorn Ranch, and North Unit.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is open all year; portions of the South Unit Scenic Loop Drive and North Unit Scenic Road may be closed in winter due to snow and ice. Visitation is highest in June, July and August. Visitation is increasing during the shoulder seasons of May and September. Lowest visitation is November to February.
Theodore Roosevelt first came to Dakota Territory in September 1883 to hunt bison. Before returning home to New York, he became interested in the cattle business and established the Maltese Cross Ranch partnership. The next year he returned to the badlands and started a second open-range ranch, the Elkhorn. TR witnessed the decline in wildlife and saw the grasslands destroyed due to overgrazing. Today, the colorful North Dakota badlands provides the scenic backdrop to the park which memorializes the 26th president for his enduring contributions to the conservation of our nation's resources. The area was first established as a Memorial Park in 1947. It gained National Park status in 1978. The Little Missouri River has shaped this 70,448-acre park which is home to a variety of plants and animals.
Some of the activities that can be enjoyed in Theodore Roosevelt National Park are but not limited to: visiting park visitor centers with museum and orientation films; visiting the Maltese Cross Cabin near the Medora Visitor Center; joining a guided talk or walk or attending evening program; driving scenic park roads; wildlife viewing; bird watching; hiking; and camping.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is noted for opportunities to see bison, elk, mule and white-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope, prairie dogs, coyote and other small mammals as well as a variety of birds including golden eagles. Wild (feral) horses can be seen in the South Unit and longhorn steers in the North Unit.
to South Unit
|All Year||New Years, Thanksgiving, Christmas||8:00 am - 4:30 pm*|
|7 miles east of Medora along I-94||Apr - mid Nov||Mid Nov - Mar||8:00 am - 4:30 pm**|
to North Unit
|All Year||New Years, Thanksgiving, Christmas||9:00 am - 5:30 pm|
* 8:00 am - 8:00 pm - Daily - mid Jun - Labor Day
** 8:00 am - 6:00 pm - Daily - mid Jun - Labor Day
Junior Ranger Program
Children between the ages of 6 and 12, we would like you to become a junior ranger. It is a fun way to learn about Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the badlands of North Dakota.
Ask any ranger or stop at a visitor center to get a booklet and pencil. Complete the activities in the booklet, attend a ranger guided program, and hike a trail. Return with your completed booklet to a visitor center and the ranger will honor you with a junior ranger badge and certificate.
By learning about he plants, animals, geology and history of this area, you will help protect the park's resources and make other people aware of how important this resource is.
Each Saturday, beginning June 16, the staff at the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park will be providing children's activities from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm CDT at Juniper picnic area, Mile 5 on the park road. Activities will change from week to week and will include nature walks, reptile presentations, prairie dog town visits, Junior ranger programs and many exciting hands on programs.
Special Events and Programs
Special Activities - include seining in the river and trips to the Elkhorn Ranch site.
Movies - T.R. Country is a 13-minute film on the badlands. It is shown at all three visitor centers, along with other movies related to the wildlife, cultural history and the National Park Service.
August 25 - Founder's Day - The National Park Service was established on August 25, 1916. Come celebrate the National Park Service's birthday. Cabin tours, movies and ranger talks will be going on throughout the day at the South Unit Visitor Center. Cookies and lemonade will be served at all three visitor centers.
Museum - The Medora Visitor Center contains a museum on the natural and cultural history of the park. There is a special emphasis on Theodore Roosevelt and ranching. The other visitor centers also contain exhibits related to the park.
Educational programs for schools and groups may be scheduled throughout the year.
Special programs may be presented throughout the year. Call the park for specific dates and times at 701-623-4466.
Ranger Led Activities
A full compliment of regularly scheduled programs including talks, evening campfire presentations, nature walks and long hikes are offered June - mid-September. Guided tours of Theodore Roosevelt's Maltese Cross Cabin in summer; self-guided during winter. Ski tours in winter may be offered if snow conditions permit.
Orientation films are provided year-round. Interpretive talks, walks, hikes, children's activities and evening programs are scheduled early June to mid-September.
The North Unit interpretation staff will begin presenting a full schedule of programs for the summer beginning the 10th of June. For detailed information, check at the North Unit Visitor Center, the park bulletin boards or call 701-842-2333.
|Roosevelt's Cabin||Located behind the Medora Visitor Center||Ranger talks and tours of Theodore Roosevelt's Maltese Cross Cabin are given during the summer.|
|Ranger Talks||Medora Visitor Center in the South Unit||20 minute talk on different topics every day. Usually offered at 10 am & 2 pm each day from mid-June to Labor Day (beginning of September)|
|Evening Walks||Meeting places vary||Take a walk with a ranger to view wildlife or learn about the cultural history of the park. Offered nearly every evening from mid-June to Labor Day (beginning of September).|
|Evening Campfire Programs||Cottonwood Campground and Juniper Campground||Join a ranger at the campfire circle to learn about a different aspect of your National Park. Offered nearly every evening from mid-June to Labor Day (beginning of September).|
|Half Day Hikes||Meeting places vary||Explore the badlands with a ranger to some of the more remote areas of Theodore Roosevelt National Park Wear sturdy shoes or boots and carry plenty of drinking water.|
Activities & Calendar
Address, Email & Phone
Amphibians & Reptile List
Basic Visit Recommendations
Brochures, Maps, Written Info
Common Plant List
DeMores States Historic Site
Jobs, SCA, Volunteer Positions
Junior Ranger Programs
Maltese Cross Cabin
Natural History Page
North Dakota Badlands
Size & Visitation
Skiing & Snowshoeing
Winter Hiking & Camping
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