Theodore Roosevelt National Park Trip Guide | Midwest Living

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Trip Guide

Summer visitors to Medora top 200,000, but in winter, the population hovers around 100. Most businesses and attractions are seasonal, so if you plan a visit between September and May, call ahead.
More than 100 miles of hiking trails cross Theodore Roosevelt National Park's North and South units.
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A 36-mile scenic drive through Theodore Roosevelt National Park's South Unit includes stunning vistas and interpretive signs explaining the park's history.
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Peaceful Valley Ranch ride.
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The Little Missouri River runs through the craggy badlands and connects the two units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
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What to do

Bully Pulpit Golf Course Rocky badlands provide the backdrop for a challenging 18-hole course a few miles south of town. (701) 623-4653;

Cedar Canyon Spa This full-service spa and salon across the street from the Rough Riders Hotel offers high-class pampering. (701) 623-1772;

Dakota Cyclery Mountain Bike Adventures From May through October, head here for bike rentals, shuttle service and guided tours. (888) 321-1218; Dakota Cyclery on Facebook

Maah Daah Hey Trail This 100-plus-mile mountain bike trail packs in challenging climbs and thrilling downhills. Bikes aren’t allowed in the park, but riders can take the Buffalo Gap Trail. Free.

Medora Musical This outdoor evening show offers patriotic songs, country tunes, gospel music, dancing, Theodore Roosevelt history and Christian values. (800) 633-6721;

North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame Permanent and traveling exhibits honor the roles played by horses, trail drivers, homesteaders, rodeo stars and more. (701) 623-2000;

Peaceful Valley Ranch A trip to Theodore Roosevelt country wouldn't be complete without a horseback ride through the park that bears his name. (701) 623-4466;

Theodore Roosevelt National Park The South Unit Visitor Center includes a museum, theater and Roosevelt’s Maltese Cross Cabin. In the more isolated North Unit (50 miles north of Interstate-94 on US-85), a 14-mile paved route starts at the North Unit Visitor Center. (701) 623-4466;

Where to eat

Cowboy Cafe Old-school diner food and reasonable prices reward patrons willing to wait for a table at this busy spot. Order a hot beef sandwich, which comes smothered in gravy and served with buttery mashed potatoes. (701) 623-4343

Pitchfork Steak Fondue “Cowboy cooks” impale steaks 10 at a time and plunge them into 400-degree cooking oil. Load your plate with all the fixings, and watch the sun set. (800) 633-6721;

Where to stay

Eagle Ridge Lodge Open year-round, this classy guest lodge outside Medora includes a dinner and hot breakfast with your stay. Tidy rooms come with quilts on the beds, gas fireplaces—and no TVs. (701) 623-2216;

Rough Riders Hotel and Conference Center Built in 1884, the Rough Riders’ 2010 renovation exudes class. Stay in one of the eight historical rooms (Room No. 501 has badlands views) or in one of the 68 new tower rooms. (800) 633-6721;

For information: Medora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (701) 623-4830; and Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation. (800) 633-6721;

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