"US Highway 85" Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park Favorite Tip by Bwana_Brown
Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park Favorites: 11 reviews and 22 photos
Favorite thing: This topographical map from Google gives a good bird's-eye view of the dramatic gorge cut by the Little Missouri River and also the boundaries of the 'North Unit' of Theordore Roosevelt National Park. The only road that traverses the park is US Highway 85 as it cuts through its eastern outskirts, with our stop indicated as we gazed down into the gorge below. The actual road into the park where you pay your entrance fee and get the necessary leaflets is a bit further south from where we stopped - on the flat 'white' section down at river level. A short road to the west takes you into the gate, from where you can continue on the scenic drive within the park or pick your hiking trail of choice. The 'Elkhorn Ranch' part of the NP no longer contains any actual ranch buildings, just some interpretive signs and other relics of the place. The 'South Unit' is located 80-km (50-mi) south of the North Unit where US 85 crosses the major east-west Interstate Highway 94.
Fondest memory: Known as the 'CanAm Highway', US 85 is one of the main north-south highways in the vast US mid-west that actually run all the way from Canada to Mexico - being about 2400-km (1500-mi) long. It is a two-lane affair for a good deal of its length (from Saskatchewan, Canada to El Paso, Texas) and we found it to be smooth, quite scenic with changing terrain and not busy with traffic. However, having seen both 'roadkill' and a number of live animals at the side of the highway, we did have to watch out for Deer and Pronghorn Antelope for the entire 930-km of our trip south - the same thing while returning. The 2nd photo shows a Pronghorn that crossed in front of us further south in North Dakota and wiggled through the fencing to emerge onto the Great Plains. They are claimed to be the second fastest land animal in the world (after the Cheetah), with a reported top speed of between 70-86 kph (about 55-mph peak). They did not seem to 'spook' very easily whenever we stopped for a photo opportunity!
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