Wednesday, we drove from Dickinson to Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
First, we stopped at the Painted Canyon Visitor’s Center. From there we hiked a pretty strenuous trail called the Painted Canyon Nature Trail. It was steep climbing, beautiful and fun.
We took water, and we needed it. It was a warm, sunny day.
We noticed we were the only ones around who chose to do this whole trail. That made sense to us by the time we got to the end. Our legs were feeling it!
But we were glad we chose to do it anyway.
When we finished the Painted Canyon Nature Trail, we took a much needed potty break. Then, we drove to the South Unit Visitor’s Center in Medora. There we got the kids’ passport books stamped, and we bought postcards, a Christmas ornament and a few gifts. We got Bravely a stuffed Buffalo for her birthday. She loves it and calls it her, “buff-uhh-lo”.
We, then, drove to different trails a ranger thought would interest us.
The Wind Canyon Trail was absolutely amazing. The views were stunning.
The Little Missouri River runs through this area of the park. We so enjoyed looking down on it as we walked along mountains above.
This trail was a shorter, easier hike. There was one steep part at the end.
This was definitely our favorite view of the day!
After walking the Wind Canyon Trail, we drove to Buck Hill. There we climbed up a steep mountain, but it was a short trail with beautiful views.
This area looked very similar to Badlands National Park, only with green added.
It was very windy, so we made this a quick trip up and back down.
We, then, drove around to our last stop of the day, the Old East Entrance.
There we walked the Old East Entrance Station Trail in a very open area. There were prairie dogs everywhere. We enjoyed watching them go in and out of their holes.
We were making our way to a cool old building that the ranger had told me about when we saw a couple buffalo nearby. We debated back and forth for a minute whether we should continue on. Remembering the news article I’d just read about a woman at Yellowstone being attacked by a buffalo, I suggested we turn around and head back toward the van. We were glad we did because within a few minutes, there were the buffalo hanging out by the old building.
We have really liked all the national parks we’ve visited, but I’d say Theodore Roosevelt National Park is one of our favorites. It is the perfect combination of all the things that make a national park great…amazing views, easy to navigate, friendly and helpful rangers, great hiking trails and different interesting things to see in different areas of the park.