Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Prairie Dogs everywhere! Theodore Roosevelt National Park was on our summer's Bucket List. Glad we made it here. It looks like we have lots of exploring to do!


Cottonwood Campground - National Park, near Medora, ND: Site #36 (64 RV sites total) - This site has: water nearby. Campground Notes: flush toilets • vault toilets • dump station available • river access • trails nearby • 2272’ elevation. July 30th - August 3rd.

Overall Experience: smile

AUTO TOURING THE PARK We drove the thirty-mile paved loop through the park. Saw many prairie dogs, a couple of herds of feral horses, a large herd of bison, and a couple of elks. Whenever there was a pullover stop with a short hike, we did it. This is a nice way to see all this National Park has to offer.

PETRIFIED FOREST TRAIL LOOP This 10.3-mile hike takes you through ancient petrified forests and badlands wilderness. The loop includes the North and South Petrified Forest Trails as well as the Maah Daah Hey Trail. We actually logged 11miles due to a little confusion finding a critical trail marker near the North Petrified and Maah Daah Hey trails intersection. This hike's trailhead is located in the remote northwest corner of the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Located in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Cottonwood Campground is a peaceful and scenic retreat in the heart of the rugged North Dakota Badlands. With its convenient proximity to the town of Medora and its prime position along the banks of the Little Missouri River, this campground is the perfect home base for exploring the park's stunning landscapes and rich history.

A Serene Oasis in Nature

Cottonwood Campground stands out as the sole campground available in the park's South Unit. It features 76 campsites that cater to various preferences, from pull-through options for easy parking to walk-in sites for those seeking a more secluded experience. No matter which site you choose, you'll be treated to picturesque views and a sense of tranquility.

The campground's location along the Little Missouri River provides campers with several advantages:

  • Soothing Sounds: The gentle flow of water creates a soothing soundtrack for your outdoor adventures, lulling you into relaxation after a day of exploration.
  • Abundant Wildlife: The river serves as a watering hole for local wildlife, making it easier for you to catch glimpses of majestic creatures such as bison, bighorn sheep, and wild horses.
  • Immersive Environment: Surrounded by nature on all sides, you'll feel fully immersed in the beauty of the Badlands, disconnected from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The Charms of Medora

Just 5 miles away from Cottonwood Campground lies the town of Medora, offering a delightful contrast to the ruggedness of the Badlands. This western-themed town is steeped in history and provides plenty of entertainment options for visitors:

  • Medora Musical: Experience an evening filled with music, dancing, and storytelling at this lively outdoor musical production. Celebrating both President Theodore Roosevelt and the American West, it's a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the area.
  • Historic Sites: Take a step back in time by exploring Medora's historic sites, such as the Chateau de Mores State Historic Site. This museum offers insights into the lives of early settlers and provides a glimpse into the town's past.

Adventures Await in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

For those seeking outdoor adventures, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park won't disappoint. Here, you'll find a wide range of activities to suit every interest:

  • Hiking Trails: Lace up your boots and embark on scenic hikes through the park's diverse landscapes. Whether you're strolling along easy paths or tackling more challenging routes, there's something for everyone.
  • Scenic Drives: If you prefer to admire nature from the comfort of your vehicle, the park offers several picturesque drives that showcase its beauty.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Keep your camera ready as you explore the park, as it's home to an array of wildlife species. From prairie dogs scurrying about to majestic elk grazing in meadows, there's always something exciting to spot.

A Destination Like No Other

Whether you're drawn to the rugged beauty of the Badlands, fascinated by the history of the American West, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway surrounded by nature, Cottonwood Campground and the surrounding Medora area offer an unforgettable destination.

Any comments, questions, etc? Contact us.

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