Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Scenic Driving
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Loop Drive in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Loop Drive in Theodore Roosevelt National Park (Phil Schermeister/National Geographic/Getty)

Stop first at the visitor center at the entrance to the North Unit to get help planning your visit.

If you have the time, take the 14-mile Scenic Drive that goes from the entrance station to the Oxbow Overlook with turnouts and interpretive signs along the way. Between the entrance and Juniper Campground you might see some longhorns, similar to the cattle raised by ranchers in Roosevelt's time.

About 3.5 miles west of the visitor center is a series of slump blocks, huge sections of bluff that gradually slid intact to the valley floor. This is not uncommon in the badlands where canyon walls are too steep to support a top-heavy formation. Continued erosion has moved the face of the parent bluff farther back from its original position. Though the blocks generally tilt as they slump, the bands of color on the bluff and the block can be matched so you can get an idea of the original position of the block.

As you go along the drive, you will come to a number of trailheads. Some are self-guiding nature trails. The descriptions below will give you an idea of what to expect. Any trail will help you gain an understanding of this land and its wildlife, so get out of your car and go for a hike, whether it be a short one or a long one. Take time to get to know the park!

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 18 Mar 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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