Posts Tagged ‘Roosevelt National Park’

Badlands – Theodore Roosevelt National Park 5/16-20

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

We arrived in the Cottonwood Campground on 5/16/2009. It was located 5 miles into the park. We toured the campground to select our site for the next 3 days. We found Bison seeming to occupy one site.

Cottonwood Campground

The campground was still in winter season. Only half of campground was open and not all facilities were fully available. The winter rates were half price. Fred got the National Parks Senior Pass for $10 which gets us lifetime free admissions to all National Parks and half price on camping.

We met several locals who love to come to the park for the peaceful setting and to see the Bison, wild horses, prairie dogs, white tail deer, elk and big horn sheep that populate the park. We were glad to be here before the summer season got going. We had the scenic drives to ourselves and met no one while hiking the trails.

The town of Medora is close to the entrance to the park. The main Park Visitor Center is here as well as several museums to visit. During the summer, many shops and arcades keep the tourists busy. A daily musical extravaganza is played out in an outdoor amphitheater on a bluff above the town.

There is a 34 miles scenic loop drive though the park. Our pictures do not capture the unique beauty of this land. We went on this scenic drive the first day here. When we went on subsequent hikes in park, we took the scenic tour road the other direction. It gives a different perspective the other way around.

Scenic Drives and Hikes


We wanted to take a kayak trip on the little Missouri River which flows through the park to see the land from the river. We decided to put in at Medora and paddle/ride the river flow down to the campground about 5 miles a way. Then, Fred was going to hitch a ride back to get the car. Our trip down the river took about an hour. A local by the name of Moby Dick from Dickson, ND met us when we got to the campground and volunteered to drive Fred to get the car.

Kayaking on Little Missouri River

We found the local people we met all over North Dakota to be very warm, friendly and accommodating. We stayed our 4thnight here in the Red Trail Campground, a private place withfull services – including great showers. With the high winds and cold weather here in winter, these people have to be very hardy indeed. While in Medora, the trains rumbling through town were a slight disturbance when you were trying to get to sleep. We recommend staying in the park but also felt that getting a camping spot in season may be a problem since there are no reservations in the park.

We are now off to Glacier National Park in Montanna with a few stops along the way.