Theodore Roosevelt National Park
'I never would have been President if it had not been for my experiences in North Dakota,' Theodore Roosevelt once remarked.
Roosevelt first came to the badlands in September 1883 on a hunting trip. While here he became interested in the cattle business and invested in the Maltese Cross Ranch. He returned the next year and established the Elkhorn Ranch.
Whenever he managed to spend time in the badlands, he became more and more alarmed by the damage that was being done to the land and its wildlife. He witnessed the virtual destruction of some big game species, such as bison and bighorn sheep. Overgrazing destroyed the grasslands and with them the habitats for small mammals and songbirds. Conservation increasingly became one of Roosevelt's major concerns. During his Presidency, Roosevelt established the US Forest Service and signed the 1906 Antiquities Act under which he proclaimed 18 national mounuments. He also established 5 national parks, 51 wildlife refuges and 150 national forests.
Here in the North Dakota badlands, where many of his personal concerns first gave rise to his later environmental efforts, Roosevelt is remembered with a national park that bears his name and honors the memory of this great conservationist.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is in the colorful North Dakota badlands and is home to a variety of plants and animals, including bison, prairie dogs, and elk.
Email - THRO_interpretation@nps.gov
Medora, ND 58645-0007
- 701 623-4466
- 701 842-2333
Operating Hours, Seasons
The 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.
PLANE - Air service is available into the North Dakota towns of Bismarck, Dickinson and Williston.
CAR - The North and South units are in western North Dakota.
The South Unit entrance and Visitor Center are located in Medora, just off Interstate 94 (exits 23 & 27) and is 135 miles west of Bismarck, North Dakota.
The Painted Canyon Visitor Center is located 7 miles east of Medora just off I-94 at exit 32.
The North Unit entrance is located 16 miles south of Watford City along U.S. Highway 85. The distance between Medora at the South Unit and the North Unit is 70 miles via I-94 and U. S. Highway 85.
BUS - Bus transportation via Greyhound is available along I-94. The bus stops in Medora, three blocks from the park entrance.
There is no public bus transportation along Highway 85 and to the North Entrance.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - Train service via Amtrak is available into Williston, ND.
Weather & Climate
Summers are warm with temperatures in the 80s and 90s with a few days into the 100s on some years. Evenings can be cool. Average maximum: July is 87.1 degrees and August is 86.7 degrees. Average minimum: July 54.5 degrees and August is 52.4 degrees. Annual precipitation is 15 inches.
Winters are generally cold. Recommend layers of clothing, especially in spring and fall. Rain gear in spring. Hat for sun protection is needed in summer.
All visitor centers, wayside exhibits, campground amphitheaters, and Maltese Cross Cabin are accessible. Both campgrounds have accessible campsites. First portion of the North Unit's Little Mo Nature Trail is paved.
Both units of the park have scenic drives. The South Unit road makes a 36-mile loop from the entrance. The North Unit road is 28 miles roundtrip.
There are over 100 miles of trails in the park.
Open All Year
Located in the South Unit of the park. First come, first served (no reservations accepted). 70 sites. Pull-through sites are available. A group site is available and reservations are accepted beginning March 1. No water, sewer or electrical hook-ups. No showers. A picnic table and grill are at each site. Flush toilets and running water are available from May through September. Each site, except the group site, is limited to a maximum of 6 people. The group site is for 7 to 20 people.
For More Information on this campground please call 701 623-4466
Open All Year
Located in the North Unit of the park. First come, first served. No reservations accepted. 50 sites. A group site is also available and reservations are accepted beginning March 1. No showers or water, sewer or electrical hook-ups. A dump station is available from May - September. There is no water available from October through April. A picnic table and grill are at each site. Pull-through sites are available. Each site is limited to a maximum of 6 people, except the group site. The group site is for groups of 7 to 60 people.
For More Information on this campground please call 701 842-2333
Roundup Group Camp
Open From 05/10/2000 To 10/10/2000
Group campsite. Horse use permitted. Reservations taken beginning March 1 at 8 am MT. Maximum stay: 5 days.
For More Information on this campground please call 701-623-4466
MEDORA VISITOR CENTER
Open All Year 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
From mid-June To September 1 8:00 am - 8:00 pm MT
From September To mid-June 8:00 am - 4:30 pm MT
Phone - 701 623-4466
Location - Entrance to South Unit
Closures - Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November), Christmas Day (December 25), New Year's Day (January 1)
Exhibits - Museum - Theodore Roosevelt, area ranching history, natural history. Theodore Roosevelt's Maltese Cross Cabin
Available Facilities - museum, 60 seat auditorium, cooperating association book outlet, restrooms, water fountain.
NORTH UNIT VISITOR CENTER
Open All Year 9:00 to 5:30 CDT
Phone - 701 842-2333
Location - At the entrance to the North Unit.
Closures - Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November), Christmas Day (December 25), New Year's Day (January 1). From October through May, the Visitor Center may be closed for short periods of time for lunch and emergencies.
Exhibits - Natural History Exhibits
Available Facilities - Small theater for viewing park videos, Cooperating Association sales area, Restrooms, Drinking fountain.
Open From April 1 to mid-June 8:30 - 4:30 MDT
Open From mid-June to September 1 8:00 - 6:00 MDT
Open From September to mid-November 8:30 - 4:30 MDT
Location - South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, off Interstate 94, exit 32.
Available Facilities - Cooperating Association book outlet, Restrooms, Drinking fountain, Public phone, Picnic tables.
Phone, Email, Address, GPS coordinates
List of Nearby Campgrounds
Local weather forecast
|These outdoors activities are available near Theodore Roosevelt National Park.|
| ||Hotels Near Theodore Roosevelt National Park:|
AmericInn Medora, Medora
, 2 miles away|
Bowman Inn And Suites, Bowman
, 28 miles away|
Super 8 Bowman, Bowman
, 28 miles away|
, 28 miles away|
Hawthorn Suites By Wyndham Dickinson, Dickinson
, 41 miles away|
Red Roof Inn & Suites Dickinson, Dickinson
, 44 miles away|
Microtel Inn & Suites By Wyndham Dickinson, Dickinson
, 44 miles away|