Theodore Roosevelt National Park
PO Box 7
Medora, ND 58645
Visitor Information - South Unit Visitor Center
(701) 623-4730 ext. 3417
Visitor Information - North Unit Visitor Center
WELCOME to Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt first came to the badlands on
a hunting trip in September 1883. He was enchanted by the landscape
and its wildlife. TR invested in two cattle ranches, the Maltese Cross
and the Elkhorn. The experience was influential on his life,
philosophy, and politics. "I never would have been President if
it had not been for my experiences in North Dakota," he said.
Maltese Cross Cabin
Built during the winter of 1883-84, the Maltese
Cross Cabin was Theodore Roosevelt's first home in Dakota Territory.
Guided tours of TR's cabin are scheduled daily mid-June through Labor
Day. It is open for self-guided viewing the rest of the year.
Theodore Roosevelt as an 1880s Rancher
When twenty-four-year-old Theodore Roosevelt
stepped off the train in Dakota Territory in September 1883, he
brought with him a keen sense of adventure and wonderment. Today, the
park provides an opportunity to learn about an environment and way of
life that helped shape Theodore Roosevelt's attitudes and philosophy
The Badlands Of Theodore Roosevelt National
The colorful Little Missouri River Badlands
provides the scenic backdrop to the park which memorializes the 26th
president for his enduring contributions to the conservation of our
The Little Missouri River has shaped the land
that is home to a variety of prairie plants and animals including
bison, elk and feral (wild) horses.
A major feature of the South Unit is the
paved, 36-mile Scenic Loop Drive with pullouts and interpretive signs
that explain some of the park's historical and natural features. A
detailed "Road Log Guide" is available for sale at park
visitor centers or online at the TRNHA bookstore.
The South Unit Visitor Center is located at the
park entrance in Medora. It has an information desk, museum, movie,
and offers opportunities to learn more about Theodore Roosevelt and
his experience in the badlands. Roosevelt's Maltese Cross Cabin is
located next to the visitor center. The visitor center is closed on
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
The South Unit offers a number of outdoor
activities such as hiking and camping in addition to guided ranger
Elkhorn Ranch Unit
The Elkhorn Ranch Unit, the location of
Roosevelt's "home ranch" in the badlands, is located 35
miles north of the South Unit Visitor Center. The ranch buildings no
longer exist but interpretive panels give insight to the area using
Roosevelt's own words. Ask at one of the visitor centers for access
information before attempting to drive to the site. Learn more about
the Elkhorn Ranch and its history.
The North Unit is located near Watford
City. From Interstate 94, take US 85 North at Belfield (Exit 42) and
continue approximately 50 miles to the park entrance.
The North Unit Visitor Center is located at the
park entrance and has an information desk, movie, and exhibits. The
staff can provide information about road and trail conditions and park
activities. Also see Ranger Programs. The visitor center is open daily
April to mid-October and Friday, Saturday and Sunday the rest of the
year. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
Take time to drive the 14-mile Scenic Drive that
leads from the entrance station to the Oxbow Overlook, with turnouts
and interpretive signs along the way. As you travel along the drive,
you will pass a number of hiking trails. Some are self-guiding nature
trails that have interpretive brochures to help you learn more about
the park. A "Road Log Guide" is available for sale at the
park visitor center and on line at the TRNHA Bookstore.
Places to Picnic
- Group Camp
- Medora Overlook
- Painted Canyon Visitor Center
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