Enjoy the Nature and Wildlife at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, North Dakota
By Meg Brunson
When I first heard that Teddy Roosevelt National Park was in North Dakota, I imagined it’d be a memorial of some sort for the president – but it’s not. We visited during the coronavirus pandemic so we did not spend time inside the visitor center, and it’s possible there is educational information about the former president there – but the park itself is really just an amazing natural masterpiece with some of the most fun wildlife we’ve experienced on our journeys so far!
The playful critter(s) we saw first, and most often were the adorable prairie dogs. It was incredible to see the holes scattered throughout the “dog town” and then slowly pick out the prairie dogs poking up from the ground. You quickly go from seeing a couple, to seeing a ton. We loved just watching them bark as they tip backwards, and munching on flowers and leaves. In areas they would be right along the side of the road, and in one section we had to stop the car to allow the curious critters to run around the road around us.
We also saw wild horses three times. Once, the day before our formal visit, from the highway driving into Medora, and then we saw a group of horses shortly after entering the park grazing in a field. We were able to walk into the field while maintaining a safe distance and snap some photos. When the horses started grazing closer to where we were standing, we headed back to the car to respect their space. Then, again before leaving, we saw them emerge from the river where we imagine they were sipping a refreshing beverage after grazing on a delicious lunch.
Finally, we saw one Buffalo. It was not the huge herd that we experienced on the Iron Mountain Freeway, but we did love catching another majestic Buffalo in it’s natural element.
Of course, there was much more than just the wildlife – but we LOVE seeing animals in the wild – landscapes and painted deserts were stunning!
Tips for a Terrific Trip:
- Check for Road Alerts – when we visited there was a section of the main loop road that was closed for all traffic (foot, bike, and car) because of erosion – it’s unclear if/when the loop will reopen, so keep that in mind when planning your visit and actually driving through the park… you don’t want to get to mile marker 24 on the “36 mile loop” only to find out you have to turn around and go all the way back just to go potty!
- Save some time to explore Medora – the entrance to the South Unit is right in the heart of Medora, a small city with tons of charm and character. We loved the Medora Musical and the Fudge and Ice Cream Depot. I wish we had more time to explore all Medora had to offer!
To start planning your trip to Theodore Roosevelt National Park visit https://www.nps.gov/thro/index.htm - and be sure to also check out our review of the Medora Musical which happens right around the corner from the national park at: https://phoenix.kidsoutandabout.com/content/experiencing-medora-musical-medora-north-dakota
Read about some of the other adventures we're having on our Indefinite Road Trip!
© 2020 Meg Brunson
All opinions expressed are my own. See more on Instagram!
Meg is a mommy blogger, Facebook marketer, and much more. She is a mom to four kids who live full-time in an RV exploring the US! As a former Facebook employee, Meg remains a Facebook addict and handles KidsOutAndAbout.com's Social Media Marketing in addition to providing freelance services for other small businesses on how to best leverage Facebook as a part of their marketing strategy. Meg also hosts the FamilyPreneur Podcast, a podcast for parent entrepreneurs raising entrepreneurial children. Learn more about Meg at MegBrunson.com!