When Theodore Roosevelt came to Dakota Territory to hunt bison in 1883, he was a skinny, young, spectacled dude from New York. He could not have imagined how his adventure in this remote and unfamiliar place would forever alter the course of the nation. The rugged landscape and strenuous life that TR experienced here would help shape a conservation policy that we still benefit from today.
The park is comprised of three separate areas of land. The North and South Units feature scenic drives, wildlife viewing, hiking, visitors’ centers, ranger-led programs and much more. The undeveloped Elkhorn Ranch Unit preserves the site of Roosevelt’s ‘home ranch’ in a remote area along the Little Missouri River.
$30.00 + taxes
$55.00 + taxes
Wildlife abounds at TRNP! The park’s prairie ecosystem is teeming with fauna and flora.
The south unit is home to a herd of approximately 300 American bison and a historic demonstration herd of feral horses. Plus see elk, coyotes, prairie dogs and more.
Stop by the visitor’s center for the most up-to-date information about wildlife sightings.
The easiest way to explore Theodore Roosevelt National Park is in your private vehicle. The south unit features a 36-mile loop road that winds through the badlands and past the park’s most popular features.
Check www.nps.gov/thro for up-to date road conditions as they work to repair erosion damage throughout 2022-2024.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park South Unit holds approximately 100 miles of hiking trails that wind through the badlands.
Trails range from wheelchair accessible overlook paths, to the wild and rugged Maah Dah Hey.
The South Unit has two campgrounds, Cottonwood Campground and Roundup Group Horse Camp.
Cottonwood is open mid-May through mid-September, with half of the sites available for reservation at recreation.gov and half of the sites first come, first served. All campgrounds are primitive (no hookups, no showers). Most sites are suitable for tents and RVs.
Backcountry camping is permitted. Please stop by the visitor’s center to get a backcountry permit.
As you drive or hike through western North Dakota, the gently rolling hills open up dramatically into the varied and colorful layers of the badlands. Curiosity might lead you to take a closer look at the rocks making up the layers. This closer look takes you back millions of years to an ancient world of swamps and forests.
Learn more about the park’s petrified forest, fossils, red scoria and why the badlands got the nickname “the burning hills.”