Top 10 Campgrounds and RV Parks Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt, “the conservation president”, for good reason. His efforts during an 8 year term doubled the national parks system in the United States and also declared a number of national monuments.

While Theodore Roosevelt National Park was not brought into the national parks system until well after Roosevelt’s presidency, it’s named after him because this area of North Dakota, known as the Badlands, was a cornerstone of his life. In fact, the North Dakota Badlands were so inspiring to Roosevelt that he once proclaimed he would have never become president if it weren’t for them.

The park is over 70,000 acres and comprised various landscapes – the badlands, wide open prairie, and the Little Missouri River. It’s one of the most pristine protected habitats for bison in the country, but you’ll also find bighorn sheep, eagles, and wild horses, as well as plenty more wildlife species.

There’s a reason we named Theodore Roosevelt National Park the #1 RV road trip in North Dakota. Not only is its landscape truly inspirational, but there are several scenic byways that take you through its best sights. These include a petrified forest that’s one of the biggest paleontological deposits in the country, the Little Missouri River, and Roosevelt’s Maltese Cross Cabin, preserved from when Roosevelt worked as a rancher and lived in it.

You’ll also find “prairie dog towns”, stretches of prairie where dozens of prairie dogs can be spotted. The Scenic Loop Drive in the park’s South Unit is one of the best byways for wildlife viewing while the Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Unit Scenic Byway provides sweeping views of the Great Northern Plains that pass through colorful canyons and bison grazing fields.

For history buffs, the Elkhorn Ranch site is worth a visit, although it’s not easy to get to. It’s located deep in the badlands wilderness, because it was built by Theodore Roosevelt when he was seeking solitude. Unfortunately, most of the original structure is gone, but you can see its original site and read about the history.

The town of Medora, located at the southern entrance to the park, is the closest major town. It’s small, but filled with interesting cultural history about the Old West and the badlands. The town offers a few great museums, horseback rides, and the Painted Canyons Visitor Center, where you’ll get phenomenal views of the colorful canyons of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. If you’re looking for an RV rental near Medora, North Dakota, you can certainly find some options.

It’s possible to camp near Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and even within the park. Backcountry camping is allowed in 30,000 acres of the park’s grounds, and there are also three official campgrounds within the park. If you’d like more amenities, there are plenty of options for RV parks in and close to Medora. We’ve hand-picked the 10 best campgrounds and RV parks in and near Theodore Roosevelt National Park so that you can relax and enjoy the ride.

Cottonwood Campground

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Located within the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt tiol Park, this campground is in the middle of North Dakota badlands wilderness. It’s only 5 miles from the southern entrance and the town of Medora is only minutes away, making this a great combition of immersion in ture and proximity to amenities.

Why You’ll Love Cottonwood Campground

This tiol Park Service campground offers stunning views of the scenery and the chance to spot wildlife. It’s a great place to station yourself as its surrounded by lovely cottonwood forest that turns a bright gold in the fall and right next to the Little Missouri River, offering beautiful river views and the chance to go for a swim and cool off. Just minutes from Medora, it’s also incredibly easy to get out and pick up supplies or go for dinner.

Sully Creek State Park

Located in Medora at the southern entrance to Theodore Roosevelt tiol Park, this state park is minutes from all of the attractions and dining that Medora has to offer. The grounds sit along the Little Missouri River as well, offering beach and boat access. The park entrance to Theodore Roosevelt tiol Park is under 10 minutes away.

Why You’ll Love Sully Creek State Park

If you’re looking to be surrounded by wilderness but close to civilization, this dry campground on the outskirts of Medora is perfect. It’s one of the most scenic campgrounds in the area – arguably just as scenic as the grounds of the tiol park. Perched on the Little Missouri River, views and outdoor recreation are incredible. This park offers excellent mountain biking trails and horseback riding.

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Juniper Campground

If you’re looking to camp in the North Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt tiol Park, Juniper Campground is a great option. Just five minutes from the northern entrance to the park, it’s easy to get to and the ideal option for people coming from or exiting out of the north. The campground is just off of highway 85 and just minutes to Watford City, North Dakota.

Why You’ll Love Juniper Campground

This tiol Park Service campground offers the true wilderness experience in the North Dakota Badlands. Sites are well spaced apart and persol, and the views of canyons and prairie are unbeatable. Plus, the campground offers sites that sit right on the stunning river that runs through it. This part of the park is pristine and less visited than the South Unit.

Buffalo Gap Campground

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Located just off I-94, Buffalo Gap Campground is only one mile from the town of Medora, ND and the south entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. You can be within the park in under 5 minutes, and proximity to the interstate makes the campground easy to find. The South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park is the most popular portion.

Why You’ll Love Buffalo Gap Campground


Enchanted Highway Campground

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If there’s one place you should combine with your trip to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, it’s North Dakota’s Enchanted Highway. This campground sits right off that highway, offering easy access to both. It’s in Regent, ND about an hour and 20 minutes from the southern entrance to the national park.

Why You’ll Love Enchanted Highway Campground

Enchanted Highway is one of the best places in the entire United States to see roadside art. The road, curving through western North Dakota, passes dozens of giant metal sculptures and public art that lines the highway from Gladstone to Regent. The campground itself is quiet and very close to a small town with a few amenities. It’s also owned by the artist who created the sculptures on the highway!

Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch & RV Campground

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Located at a major trailhead in western North Dakota, this guest ranch and RV campground is incredibly scenic and peaceful. It’s just 14 minutes west of Medora and the southern entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The ranch is also a few minutes off of I-94, placing it in a quiet, beautiful area.

Why You’ll Love Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch & RV Campground

Surrounded by plains and badlands, this guest ranch and RV campground gives visitors a true feel for what makes North Dakota so special. Being that town is 10 miles away, they offer a fantastic restaurant and bar for campers. They offer trail riding, stables for your horses and lodging for cattle, and they even hold events once in a while, such as music festivals or weddings.

Red Trail Campground

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This campground in Medora, ND is right next to the Little Missouri River and just outside of the southern entrance to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, making it extremely convenient. You’ll find plenty of dining and amenities right outside the campground, and you can be within the badlands of the national park within minutes.

Why You’ll Love Red Trail Campground

While most campgrounds at the national park entrance are rustic and dry, this is one of the few RV parks that offers ample modern amenities. From free wifi to laundry services to a fully stocked grocery store and souvenir shop, you’ll find everything you need here. The best part is it’s just minutes from the national park. You can also walk to the town of Medora from here, making it one of the best located campgrounds on this list.

Camp on the Heart

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http://National Park Service

This lovely park is right off of I-94 and only 37 minutes east of Medora, where you’ll find the sourthern entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It’s located in a prairie area of North Dakota, and although the town is very rural, it does offer all the standard amenities. The park is quiet and calm.

Why You’ll Love Camp on the Heart

This park is in the middle of the North Dakota countryside but offers lots of amenities. The owners are noted for their friendliness and helpfulness, and there’s lots of open grass and playing areas for kids, making it extra family friendly. It’s also next to the river and close enough to the interstate to make it convenient.

North Park Campground

You’ll find North Park Campground in the small town of Dickinson, North Dakota, just over 30 minutes east of Medora and the National Park. It’s in the middle of a quiet prairie area, making the grounds wonderfully scenic and peaceful. At the same time, it’s also near the interstate and in town, so you’re close to any amenities you could need, including a Walmart Supercenter

Why You’ll Love North Park Campground

North Park Campground offers level sites and fantastic utilities. Sites are also large and very private. This is a convenient stop-over camp with everything you need, including incredibly fast wifi. There’s lots to do and see in this area, so it’s worth staying a few days, especially with access to the campground’s clean and updated facilities.

Medora Camp Grounds

On the west side of the town of Medora, you’ll find this campground nestled along the Little Missouri River and surrounded by beautiful cottonwoods. It’s perfectly located for an adventure into the North Dakota badlands and also offers instant access to all of the amenities in Medora.

Why You’ll Love Medora Camp Grounds

Convenience and beauty merged in one, this campground offers stunning riverside campsites within the town of Medora. The southern entrance to the National Park is also at your doorstep. Plenty of modern, well-maintained amenities are available here, from wifi and updated bathrooms to a general store and a playground to keep the kids entertained.

In Summary

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to camp in Theodore Roosevelt National Park?

The top 10 campgrounds we selected all show daily, weekly and monthly rates for you. Pricing will vary.

How much does it cost to RV park in Theodore Roosevelt National Park?

Pricing will vary. The top 10 RV Parks we selected all display daily, weekly and monthly rates for you.

How long can you stay at an RV Park in Theodore Roosevelt National Park?

Staying at an RV Park for a long period of time will vary on the campground & RV Park you choose. View our post for more information.

Are there pet friendly RV Parks & Campgrounds in Theodore Roosevelt National Park?

Yes. The majority of campgrounds we selected in this blog allow pets.