Theodore Roosevelt National Park

A view of Theodore Roosevelt National Park


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Theodore Roosevelt once said, “I would not have been president had it not been for my experience in North Dakota.” Once he became the 26th President, he helped shape a conservation policy that still today benefits many national parks, and in his honor stands the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in his beloved North Dakota. The only American national park named directly after a single person, the park covers 70,446 acres made up of three areas: the South Unit, the North Unit, and the Elkhorn Ranch Unit. The landscape varies, as it includes the badlands, wide open prairie and the Little Missouri River.

The park is one of the most pristine, protected habitats for bison in the United States. Visitors can expect beautiful views and abundant wildlife viewing, including bison, elk, horses, coyotes, pronghorns (the fastest land animal in North America!), bobcats, prairie dogs and so much more. Keep in mind that the wildlife in the park is wild and should be viewed from a distance for your safety. The terrain features rolling hills, hiking through the badlands, prairie ecosystem and canyons, sweeping views and plenty of outdoor fun, including backcountry camping, canoeing/kayaking, fishing and much more.

Weather conditions can change quickly, but in general, the wind is considerable year-round. Summers are warm with average highs between the 70s and 80s and winters are cold with lows in the single digits from December through February. In the winter, snow is likely, with an average of 30 inches during the winter months.

There is plenty to do in the towns around the park, especially in the small Badlands town of Medora. It’s the gateway to the South Unit of the park, but is also an Old West Cowtown that features horseback riding, museums, the Burning Hills Amphitheatre, and camping and luxury lodging alike.

If you’re looking for activities within the park, there is lots of fun to experience. A full event calendar can be found here. But don’t forget: the North and South units within the park are in different time zones! The North Unit is in the Central Time Zone and South is Mountain Time.

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  • Spring 18-69 F
  • Summer 70-80s F
  • Fall 31-75 F
  • Winter 3-33 F
Location & Hours
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Park Info
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park Private Vehicles: $30
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park Motorcycle: $25
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park Per Person: $15

RV Rentals Near Theodore Roosevelt National Park

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Coachmen RV Apex Ultra-Lite 259BHSS

Coachmen RV Apex Ultra-Lite 259BHSS

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Theodore Roosevelt National Park Hiking Trails

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Hiking Trails

Most of the hikes within Theodore Roosevelt National Park are short nature hikes, featuring amazing wildlife viewing, stunning landscape and much more. Here are some of our must-try hikes. For a full hiking and trail guide, click here.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Trails

Things to do Outside Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Things to do Outside Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Once you are ready to leave the park and experience all the area has to offer, there is plenty to do! Whether you’re looking for a delicious meal to fill your belly, new clothes to wear home, or a museum for some culture and learning, here are some of our top recommendations for things to do around Theodore Roosevelt National Park.




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RV Resorts & Campsites near Theodore Roosevelt National Park

When you visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park, you have plenty of options for camping and RVing. In fact, we named the park our #1 best RV trip to take in North Dakota! Backcountry camping is also allowed in 30,000 acres of the park with no cost, although a permit is required. More information on backcountry camping is availablehere.

Keep in mind that most of the campgrounds within the park itself are first-come, first-served, although a few sites do take reservations. Here are some of our favorite campgrounds:

RV Resorts & Campsites near Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Campgrounds Near Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Find the Best Dumpstations Near Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Find the Best Dumpstations Near Theodore Roosevelt National Park

An unglamorous but necessary aspect of RVing? Dump stations. Knowing where the best dump stations are near you will allow for more ease and less stress in your travels. Dump stations are an easy and convenient way to clear waste from your RV. Use our guides to find dump stations on your route, so you can get back to the good stuff – exploring, relaxing, and making memories on the road.

Dumpstations Near Theodore Roosevelt National Park

How to get to Theodore Roosevelt National Park

How to get to Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Traveling to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park shouldn’t offer any problems! You can reach the park via plane, car or RV.

But we think the best way to travel to Theodore Roosevelt National Park is in comfort – in an RV! Renting an RV allows you to travel comfortably and see the sights, beauty, and wildlife offered in the park at your own pace. Even if you don’t own an RV, RV rentals are available across the country. Whether you want to start at your location and drive the whole way, or fly in and pick up an RV closer to the park, there’s a perfect option available to you.

The park is RV friendly and much of it can be seen right from the windows of your vehicle, but there are some guidelines, which can be foundhere.

If you are hoping to stay in your RV in the park, you must stay at a designated campsite within the Cottonwood or Juniper Campgrounds. There is running water spigots and bathrooms (no showers), but there are no electricity or water hookups. Both the campgrounds have a variety of back-in and pull-through sites, which can accommodate most large vehicles.

When traveling by car, you have plenty of options, thanks to the three entrances. The South Unit entrance is accessible via Interstate 94, exits 24 and 27. The North Unit entrance is on U.S. Highway 85; coming from 1-94, travelers can access highway 85 at Exit 42 in Belfield, ND. To access the Elkhorn Ranch Unit, travel via gravel roads is required, and road conditions can be extremely variable. Be sure to consult with park staff for information on the travel before you leave.

If you’re flying, the nearest large airports are located in Bismarck, ND and Billings, MT, and smaller regional airports in Dickinson, ND, and Williston, ND.

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Frequently Asked Questions
    Is Theodore Roosevelt National Park accessible for disabled visitors?

    Yes, Theodore Roosevelt National Park is accessible for disabled visitors. All visitor centers and the Maltese Cross Cabin are wheelchair accessible. There are also accessible campgrounds, picnic areas, and lots of scenic overlooks and drives. A few trails are short and hard-surfaced as well.

    Are pets allowed at Theodore Roosevelt National Park?

    Yes, pets are allowed at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Pets are allowed on roads and road shoulders, on sidewalks in parking areas, and in campgrounds and picnic areas.

    What are the top things to do in Theodore Roosevelt National Park?

    Top things to do at Theodore Roosevelt National Park include checking out the park visitor centers, visiting the Maltese Cross Ranch Cabin, and driving the Scenic Loop Drive. The park has plenty of hiking and scenic overlooks so everyone can enjoy their trip!

    Are there designated camping spots in Theodore Roosevelt National Park?

    There are two primitive campgrounds at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Campgrounds do not have hookups or showers. There are several campgrounds near the park that have RV hookups and other amenities for campers.

    What is the best time of year to visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park?

    Late spring to early fall is the best time to visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The park's roads are all open, and visitors will likely have the best weather for hiking and other outdoor activities then.