After our stop at Glacier National Park we headed direct East for a ten hour drive to North Dakota. We arrived at Medora, North Dakota for two nights. We visited a fifth National Park on our 2019 National Park trip at this stop. Theodore National Park is located here in North Dakota. This National Park was named after President Theodore Roosevelt who ranched here prior to his Presidency. He said his time ranching helped him become a good president.
Here is a some info about President Theodore Roosevelt from the website https://learnodo-newtonic.com/theodore-roosevelt-accomplishments:
“Roosevelt is considered to be the first president to put Conservation high on the national agenda. He set aside more Federal land for national parks and nature preserves than all of his predecessors combined. He established the US Forest Service, signed into law the creation of 5 National Parks and established the first 51 Bird Reserves and 150 National Forests.”
The Theodore Roosevelt National Park isn’t one of our most visited National Parks by any means. There were approximately 780,000 visitors to this park in 2018 according to the National Parks Service. This makes the park experience pleasant. You can hike the trails and experience more wildlife than people. We were able to see bison and prairie dogs on our visit, along with plenty of beautiful views and landscapes.
The park offers a 36 mile scenic drive. There are many overlooks and places to stop for photos and view nature. We hiked the Lower Paddock Trail. We learned on the news that a teenager was gored by a bison hiking this trail the day after we hiked Lower Paddock. Scary! It is mating season for bison, so they can be more aggressive. They are not typically aggressive animals, however they are wild animals and you never want to get too close. The NPS policy is to remain 25 yards from bison. Here is the article about the incident with the teen at Theodore Roosevelt National Park: https://www.foxnews.com/great-outdoors/teenager-bison-attack-theodore-roosevelt-national-park
Below are photos from our time at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We stayed at the Medora Campground. Medora is a quaint town with an old-fashioned Western style that is fun and authentic. It is a great place to see a show and to have dinner at a pitchfork fondue steakhouse. We made reservations in advance for the pitchfork fondue steak dinner. It was at a covered outdoor area with panoramic views of the badlands of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and surrounding areas. If you are in the area I recommend getting reservations for this dinner. It is a fun experience! Here is the link: https://www.medora.com/eat/family/pitchfork-steak-fondue/
I recommend having your kids participate in the free junior ranger program at Theodore Roosevelt Park during your visit. It is a great way to become familiar with the park, learn about how the buttes in that region were formed, and hear about the history of Theodore Roosevelt. We were able to tour the cabin that was Theodore Roosevelt’s. Such a great experience and way to feel connected to our nation’s history. When you experience the land and atmosphere of a National Park first hand, especially one with such rich history, it changes you. I am thankful for the preservation of National Parks and lands; and especially the work of Theodore Roosevelt.