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Hiking at Theodore Roosevelt National Park – Medora, ND

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We checked a fun experience off our North Dakota bucket las weekend and visited Medora for my husband’s birthday! Medora is located about 3 hours West of Minot and is part of the Badlands! South Dakota also has Badlands and there is even a national park with the same name. The scenery looks pretty similar and is just such a beautiful sight and so unique for North Dakota since the state is primarily flat.

Here are some of our favorite experiences from our weekend getaway. Hiking in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, The Medora Musical, downtown Medora, and more!


You have to check out the Theodore Roosevelt impersonation at Town Hall – so good, even if you are not a history buff like me


My first time seeing wild horses! This was in TDR National Park


Gorgeous Feral Horses, we came at just the right time


Inside TDR National Park


Just beautiful…


The fried steak at the Medora Music Pitch Fork Fondue, super tough to chew, but fun to experience ($29 a person)


We stayed at the Rough Riders Hotel and the breakfast at Theodore’s was SO good!


Basic – but so good


Bison in the backcountry

This was by far the coolest part of the weekend. We did some small quick trails, all under a mile, but this one was by far the most intense. In order to get to the backcountry and see the bison you need to park at Peaceful Valley Ranch and cross the river. Now I know why they call it the “The Little Muddy,” because it was dirty! It is about 1.5 feet deep and pretty muddy. Thankfully my hubby gave me a piggy back ride! The loop is 5.8 miles and we were not sure we were going to do the whole thing and went a little unprepared in my opinion. It took us about 2 hours to do the whole loop and only two of us brought a bottle of water. Definitely bring a backpack and make sure everyone has a few bottles of water because there aren’t many trees so don’t expect shade on this trail.

The whole weekend I was so excited to see bison but could not find any along the roads – I think you need to go pretty early, around 7am to spot them. When we entered this trailhead a man let us know there were tons on the top of the plains and we would for sure see them.

I have to be honest, I have never seen WILD bison, just a few in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park (weird, I know), and a few in Jamestown but they were fenced. We must have passed about 30 of them and I was so scared. I just stayed far away, like 75 feet away, and walked around them to get on the trail. When we reached the top of the plain we also saw six antelope which were very pretty. They were very skittish so we didn’t get very close. There were plenty of prairie dogs around too.



On the way down, we came across another herd of bison. These were right on the trail so we had to take a big detour to avoid them!


VIP service across the Missouri River! Thanks love.