Theodore Roosevelt National Park
|River Bend Overlook, Theodore Roosevelt National Park (Mary Brazell/National Park Service)|
Operating Hours, Seasons
The park is open year-round. Portions of the South Unit Scenic Loop Drive and North Unit Scenic Road may be closed in winter due to snow and ice.
Plane: Air service is available into the North Dakota towns of Bismarck, Dickinson, and Williston.
Car: The North and South units are in western North Dakota. The South Unit entrance and Visitor Center are located in Medora, just off Interstate 94 (exits 23 & 27) and are 135 miles west of Bismarck, North Dakota. The Painted Canyon Visitor Center is located 7 miles east of Medora just off I-94 at exit 32. The North Unit entrance is located 16 miles south of Watford City along U.S. Highway 85. The distance between Medora at the South Unit and the North Unit is 70 miles via I-94 and U.S. Highway 85.
Bus transportation via Greyhound is available along I-94. The bus stops in Medora, three blocks from the park entrance. There is no public bus transportation along Highway 85 and to the North Entrance. Train service is available into Williston.
Weather and Climate
Summers are warm with temperatures in the 80s and 90s with a few days into the 100s in some years. Evenings can be cool. Average maximum: July is 87.1 degrees and August is 86.7 degrees. Average minimum: July 54.5 degrees and August is 52.4 degrees. Annual precipitation is 15 inches. Winters are generally cold. Recommend layers of clothing, especially in spring and fall. Bring rain gear in spring. A hat for sun protection is needed in summer.
Visitor centers, wayside exhibits, campground amphitheaters, and the Maltese Cross Cabin are accessible. Both campgrounds have accessible campsites. First portion of the North Unit's Little Mo Nature Trail is paved.
Accommodations and Services
Entrance fees are collected in the summer; camping fees may be collected throughout the year. Since firewood is not provided and gathering is not permitted, bring your own wood, charcoal, or lightweight stove. Cottonwood Campground in the South Unit and Juniper Campground in the North Unit are operated on a first-come, first-served basis and do not have trailer hookups. Other privately run campgrounds are located near the park. Camping for organized groups is available at the Halliday Wells Campground in the South Unit and in part of Juniper Creek Campground in the North Unit. Groups must have a written reservation from the park superintendent. Riding groups with their own horses should write to the superintendent to make special arrangements. In the summer, only saddle horses ran be rented at Peaceful Valley; guides are provided with all rides. Hikers and horseback riders should inquire at the visitor center for information about the backcountry trails that cover the park and to obtain a free backcountry camping permit.
Picnicking is permitted at Painted Canyon, Peaceful Valley, and Juniper picnic areas. If you need supplies or accommodations, you can find services year-round at Medora (limited in winter), Belfield, and Beach near the South Unit and at Watford City near the North Unit. The Medora Painted Canyon, and North Unit visitor centers are accessible to the disabled.
In summer the park's varied interpretive programs include campfire programs, talks, and guided walks. Get information at the visitor centers, park entrance stations, or from bulletin boards in the park.
Regulations and Safety
Obtain and read park regulations and safety guidelines for the park when your arrive. Information is posted at the campgrounds and throughout the park.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication