Painted Canyon Nature Trail

EASY 7 reviews

Painted Canyon Nature Trail is a 1.1 mile loop trail located near Fairfield, ND that offers scenic views. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking.

1.1 miles 276 feet Loop

kid friendly

hiking

views

Theodore Roosevelt National Park By Mail Box 7 Medora, ND 58645-0007 By Phone South Unit Information 701 623-4466 North Unit Information 701 842-2333 By Fax 701-623-4840 Street Address 315 2nd Ave Medora, ND 58645

hiking
3 months ago

This was a nice warm up hike before i did some more hiking in the area. dropping in and coming out of the canyon wasn't hard at all. It didn't even seem like a 1.1 mile hike while doing it. It was awesome to see the different sediments up close, and being up close with nature with the interstate being right behind you.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy trail - but I have never seen anything like the landscape out here! It was amazing! Went early in the morning so a little cooler. Colors were incredible.

4 months ago

I completed the trail that ends at upper paddock trail. The climb up was pretty good and the climb back down was easy. Saw one big buffalo lounging in a dirt hole.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful. Kg and Laney loved it.

hiking
6 months ago

Great area to get away in. I actually combined 2 of the trails by going down one, then going off trail way out and connecting with the other to come back up to the parking lot. My recorded route got cut off for some reason but you can see the majority of where I went. You can just wander out here and still keep your bearings. Beautiful beautiful area. I'll be back.

hiking
3 years ago

To get to the trailhead, if you are travelling on I-94, be sure to stop at the Painted Canyon Rest Area. The rest area is just east of the town of Medora, a historic location in its own right. The rest area includes a small park with shelters and a well equipped information center. A sidewalk winds along the fenced edge of the overlook. Near the west edge, you will find a short loop trail. It took us about 45 minutes to complete the loop, downhill at first, and then uphill back to the overlook at the same point we started the hike. There is also a trailhead that joins the main trail from the westernmost shelters. Even though the trail is only a mile, bring water, especially on a warm, North Dakota summer day. You will be glad you did.
From the overlook, the trail looks to be sand, rocks and low growing ground cover. A short distance from the overlook, we ran into a small forest. On a warm day, the shade was welcome. The trail is an easy walk for anyone with hiking experience. Though there are some steeper descents and climbs, the trail is well marked and should be an easy to moderate challenge for the non-hiker. The few forks we found in the trail always led back to the main trail, no matter which fork we chose to take.