The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame also is in Medora, a ranching and tourist town that is home to the nightly Medora Musical and Pitchfork Fondue (steaks on a pitchfork cooked in oil). It’s also the location of Bully Pulpit Golf Course, with holes through the Badlands.
A trek inside the national park is where a visitor would find a wide range of wildlife, much of it up close. Bison herds graze the flatlands and wander around rugged buttes, often leading to “buffalo jams” along the 36-mile scenic loop winding around the park.
Wild horses and prairie dogs can be seen frolicking throughout the day, while deer are most likely found in the morning and evenings when they come out to eat. Coyotes, eagles, hawks, bighorn sheep and elk are other species found in the park. Many migratory birds can be found passing through the park in the spring and fall.
The 144-mile Maah Daah Hey Trail runs through the park and is open to hiking and biking. However, bicycling is not allowed on the singletrack trail within the park. Road biking is allowed on all paved or dirt roads and the Buffalo Gap Trail is an alternate route around the park for mountain bikers.
The North Unit near Watford City has a 14-mile scenic byway along a more rugged terrain than the South Unit. It follows roughly the Little Missouri River in the valley below. Trails and wildlife abound there, too.
Real adventurers make their ways to the Elkhorn ranch site midway between the two units. The foundations of Roosevelt’s first cabin and interpretive signs are found here.
To learn more visit: www.NDTourism.com or www.VisitTheUSA.com.au