How about a family day out fit for a President! Well, in their honor anyway with Theodore Roosevelt National Park!.
You see, Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Dakota Territory in 1883 to hunt bison. Far from his home in New York, you can imagine what he thought of the rugged landscape and vastly different lifestyle.
Today, you can visit the same spot that he trekked to all those years ago. In fact, the part contains a number of sites with historical significance, each relating to the era of cattle ranching in the late 1800s.
The most significant site is Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch Site, where he spent most of his time. If you're near the South Unit Visitor Center, make sure you pop into the Maltese Cross Cabin. This was his first ranch home!
If you are a horse lover, check out the Peaceful Valley Ranch, where you can still ride horses to this day. This ranch was built in the 1880s, and served as a dude ranch from 1918 to the 1930s.
Of course, being a US National Park, be prepared to enjoy a host to outdoor adventure too, as well as history! Grab those hiking boots and enjoy the hiking trails, or take your time on the self-guided nature trails and enjoy what is around you.
There are bicycling opportunities, as well as water based activities such as canoeing, kayaking and fishing.
Come winter, the cross-country skiing and showshoeing should take your fancy!
For those younger adventurers in the family between the ages of 2 and 16, ask for a Junior Ranger Journal. Complete the activities and answer the questions while exploring the park and earn a Junior Ragner Badge and Badlands Club Sticker. It is a fun way to learn about Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the badlands of North Dakota!
So what are you waiting for? There's a beautiful park out there with your name on it, so grab that sense of adventure and love of history, and let's explore!
$30 per private vehicle, valid for 7 days (incl passengers), or $15 individual travelers
Free under 16 years
Annual pass $55
There are two visitor centers. The Painted Canyon Visitor Center is open seasonally between May and October
There are campgrounds within the park, open all year but limited services mid-October to mid-May.They collect fees year round.
Why not take a picnic! There are some beautiful places to sit and enjoy some food. Make sure you take healthy snacks to keep the kids energy up!
Healthy Eating Take plenty of bottled water
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in the badlands of western North Dakota. The park is split into 3 separate units: South Unit, Elkhorn Ranch, and North Unit.
It's a super fun place to take students, and with the Junior Ranger program too, there is plenty to see and learn throughout their field trip!
Visitor Center, Maltese Cross Cabin, and restroom facilities are wheelchair accessible.
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The park is open 24 hours. South Unit VC: 8am - 6pm MT thru Labor Day. Otherwise 4:30pm close
Open year round. South Unit VC closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
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Theodore Roosevelt National Park