Theodore Roosevelt National Park

View of The Painted Canyon at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Our original plan was to stop at the visitor center at for a stamp in Kathy’s Passport book, take a few photos and move on.  But even though the weather was iffy when we got there, the scenery was so captivating that we decided to stick around until dark.  And we’re glad we did!

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
View of The Painted Canyon at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
View of The Painted Canyon at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
View of The Painted Canyon at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

The visitor center is situated at a rest stop along I-94 and is one of the few interstate rest areas where you can actually see bison.  We didn’t see any at the rest stop, but did see a lot of them in the park, both up close and from a distance.  The best way to see the park is to drive the loop road, which is what we ended up doing.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

A portion of the loop road through the park was closed due to some aerial spraying being done, but the road was open enough to get some good views from within the park.  “Prairie Dog Town” was a lot of fun, with hundreds of the cute little critters popping their heads out of their holes to peek at us.  We got a little “up close and personal” to some bison that wandered through a parking area right behind our car.  I was very glad to be in the car and not out wandering around with my camera!

Bison at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
Bison at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
Bison at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Our visit could have been longer had we gotten there earlier or if the weather had been better, but it was longer than we intended, and that is a testament to being open to change and flexible in our plans.  It was a worthwhile detour, for sure!

4 thoughts on “Theodore Roosevelt National Park”

  1. Next time. I say that a lot but don’t always follow up. So I hope you do get a chance to make a return and spend more time there. I made that loop on the motorcycle as well as riding through Yellowstone on the motorcycle. The bison are much bigger when not in a car! Another good series, Tom!

    1. We try to keep those “next time” or “someday” moments to a minimum, but sometimes they’re inevitable. We actually seem to prefer these less-famous parks because they’re less crowded and easier to enjoy. We’ll get to places like Yosemite and Yellowstone eventually, but as odd as it is to say it, we’re kind of enjoying doing it “our way.”

      As always, thanks for the kind comments!

  2. This park was one of my favorite stops along the way. I had no idea that I would pass a national park on my way back east; however, I stopped by, drove the loop, and was treated to quite a few cool sights. I was just making my way out of Montana and into western ND and, bam! there it was. I had a park pass, so, why not! 🙂

    I’m glad that you didn’t got all thrill-seeker mode and try to ride a bison, my friend!

    Did you get to say any of the horses and ponies?

    1. I was very happy to not become Bison Bait, that’s for sure! We didn’t see any horses…they may have been in the section that was closed. We couldn’t go all the way around the loop.

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