"Off the beaten track - and all the better for it!" Top 5 Page for this destination Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park by sarahandgareth

Theodore Roosevelt National Park - the only park to date named after a person - is one of the lesser-visited Parks in the NPS system, especially when you discount the many visitors who stop only at the Painted Canyon overlook, essentially a brief rest-stop on Interstate 94.

The lack of traffic only adds to the charm of the park, which you can discover almost entirely on your own, especially in the park's North Unit.

The two major units are some fifty miles apart - in between the two, accessible by trail is the now barren Elkhorn Ranch, site of one of Roosevelt's ranches - and the South Unit, right in Medora, gets the bulk of the in-park visitors.

The surprising thing is that the North Unit seems to have the better signs and explanations, with very helpful information at each pullout along the fourteen-mile roadway.

We pulled on our hiking boots to really get away from it all, following several fascinating self-guided trails that gave a very vivid sense of the park's geography and flora and fauna.

The fauna was especially fascinating. We started out amazed by the large prairie dog towns, the little critters popping up and grazing near the various holes once they became accustomed to us, but skittering away if they were nervous, or if one of the 'guards' sounded an alarm.

We swiftly moved on to a larger scale, however, with the herds of imposing bison that were grazing on the prairie segments - or even the bull bison at the roadside, totally uninterested in our tiny car. There were also small groups of wild horses throughout the park.

  • Last visit to Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park: Aug 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (5)

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Aug 25, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    Very well-written and informative tips on this 'forgotten' National Park. Thanks

  • pipsqueak's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2006 at 5:55 AM

    Nice job on your TRNP page. My inlaws live in Williston, so we go to both units of the park regularly. If you ever go through again, the Maah-dah-Hey hiking and biking trail is a 100+ mile trail linking both units of the park.

  • JosM's Profile Photo
    Oct 17, 2004 at 3:32 PM

    Accurate description of RNP. Nicer pics, esp. the peeping prairiedog!

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    Sep 2, 2003 at 12:34 PM

    A region too arid for my blood, but I'd still like to see TR's spread.

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo
    Aug 31, 2003 at 8:39 PM

    We have visited the South Unit of Roosevelt a number of times, but have never visited the north unit. I was interested in what you had to say about that part of the park. Sounds like maybe we should visit the north this year. Thanks for your information.


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