5 of the Best Hikes in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Hike in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Hike TRNP during the National Park Service Centennial Celebration in 2016

The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year and, of course, in Medora, people absolutely love to experience the wonder of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the heart of the Nor

th Dakota Badlands.

To help you plan your trip to celebrate with the Park, and to celebrate what inspired our 26th President so much during his time in Dakota Territory, here are some of the must see spots when you go to TRNP! (Plus, enjoy a little Josh Duhamel voice at the bottom)


1. The Maltese Cross Cabin
Originally located about seven miles south of Medora in the wooded bottom-lands of the Little Missouri, the Maltese Cross Ranch was one of the places Theodore Roosevelt stayed during his time in North Dakota. Now located at the TRNP South Unit Visitors Center, this is a must-see window into the past, and the President’s time in the Dakota Territory.

2. Wind Canyon
Enjoy hiking this nature trail alongside a wind-sculpted canyon as you climb to the best views of the Little Missouri River. It’s the Park Ranger’s best kept secret for watching sunsets.

3. Buck Hill

Located one mile north of Paddock Creek, Buck Hill is the highest point in the National Park South Unit and a great vantage point to see wild horses or roaming buffalo. It’s a steep trail, but it’s worth every step.

Kim Schmidt on Buck Hill TRNP

Kim Schmidt on Buck Hill TRNP

4. Petrified Forest
Located in the remote northwest corner of the South Unit, this hike takes you through ancient petrified forests and badlands wilderness. The loop includes the North and South Petrified Forest Trails as well as the Maah Daah Hey. You can even make it an all-day adventure if that’s your fancy.

5. Coal Vein Trail 

A favorite of many TRNP hikers, the Coal Vein Trail is located approximately half way around the scenic loop in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It’s a little over a mile and should talk about 45 minutes at an ok pace — but it’s time you’ll love. Coal Vein will take you along the butte edges and through the juniper trees, then down through small gorges and across patches of meadow. You aren’t, but you’ll feel like you’re a hundred miles from everything, and that’s the best part.

These are just a few of the many great hikes TRNP has to offer.

This summer get the family to put down their phones and pick up their feet by coming out to Medora and going on a hike or bike ride through the amazing North Dakota Badlands. 

Here’s some other stuff to make your adventure in Medora and TRNP even better!

TRNP South Unit Map

TRNP South Unit Map


  • And here’s a little Josh Duhamel encouragement to get you excited for this summer at TRNP!


No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply