While people often think of North Dakota of as being a flat endless prairie, Theodore Roosevelt National Park is anything but that. Protecting the badlands of the state, the park is a scenic expanse of buttes, gullies, rivers, and grasslands. A large amount of wildlife live in the area including prairie dogs and bison.
Theodore Roosevelt made multiple visits to the then Dakota Territory between 1883 and 1896. He credits his experience as being influential to his conservationist policies as a politician. These included creating the Forest Service, the establishment of five National Parks, and the signing of the Antiquities Act which allows the president to protect federal lands. Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park was established in 1947 to honor Roosevelt. In 1978, it was changed to a National Park.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is always open although some facilities are closed during the winter. Effective June 2018 admission is $30 per vehicle and is valid for one week. Camping sites are available for an additional charge. The park is separated into the North Unit and South Unit with admission being good for both. All of the pictures above are of the South Unit.
How to Get There
To get to the more accessible South Unit, take exit 24 (if traveling east) or exit 27 (if traveling west) from Interstate 94 and follow signs for the park. Once inside, a scenic loop road provides access to various points of interest. To get to the North Unit take 42 from Interstate 94 and then travel north on to US Highway 85 for about 50 miles.
When to Go
Spring and fall are the best times of year to visit. It is cold and snowy during the winter while summer is very hot. Either include as part of a cross country trip along Interstate 94 or as a stop on a road trip of the High Plains.