Visited: August 2017
Duration: 3-4 hours
Accommodations: Rough Riders Hotel, Medora (Highly recommend)
The last national park we visited on the National Park Trip Season 2 was Theodore Roosevelt National Park, located in beautiful Medora, North Dakota. This park was perfect for wrapping up our park trip. We were exhausted and this park is mostly drive-able and there were NO CROWDS. Just what we needed after 4 days at Glacier.
If you are planning to visit this park, I would suggest to plan some extra time to spend in Medora, it is a great town. Lots of shopping and great restaurants, the hotel we stayed at was perfect!
On this trip we visited the South Unit. The South Unit has information, a theater, museum with Theodore Roosevelt’s personal items, Maltese Cross Cabin, lots of wildlife and a 36 mile scenic loop.
We stopped in at the Visitor Center and watched the film, grabbed our Junior Ranger booklets and we took off on the Scenic Drive.
Our first stop was at Skyline Vista. A short little hike to see a great overlook.
Up next we stopped along the road to watch bison. I loved this park because of all of the wildlife we spotted here. The low crowds might contribute to why we saw so many?? Win-win in my book.
So many nice relaxing stops along this road. Wind Canyon Trail was next, another short hike for more beautiful views again.
More driving and you can view beautiful colors in the buttes in the park. This was fascinating to me and gorgeous. I don’t see this everyday.
Here are what the colors of rock represent:
Blue/Grey is Sandstone made of quartz
Brick Red is Bentonite Clay and is made of volcanic ash
Tan are bands of lignite coal
Black is called clinker- a rock baked by the heat of burning coal
Along the way we stopped at a ranger station and learned about a summer intern that is studying bison herd movement at the park. They shot skin darts at the bison, isolated the dna from the skin cells, sequenced the dna and compared all the dnas to see mismatches in herd population. This will tell them whether or not there are migrating herds coming to the park or if the herd is staying in the park and breeding. Really cool stuff (especially for me).
Finished off the loop and headed back to the visitor center. Check out all the wildlife we saw on the loop today. Pretty cool.
We stopped in to the Maltese Cross Cabin and toured that while there wasn’t anyone there. Back in to the Visitor Center to get our Junior Ranger badges and we are going shopping in Medora.
We are off to shop for the rest of the day and possibly swim in the pool. We need to relax, this trip has been nonstop. This park ranger was shocked on Park trip season 3 in Acadia when we recognized him from this park. Small world out there.
We really liked this relaxing park. Have you been there? What did you like about it??