Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Theodore Roosevelt National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
12 days ago

This one is pretty straight forward. Not a long trail, but it provides some good views of this portion of the Badlands. You can definitely see the coal layer of the Badlands along this trail.

hiking
12 days ago

Another trail in Teddy Roosevelt that we really enjoyed as a family. Great views of the river bend. Doesn't take a lot of time, so make sure you stop and enjoy the view. Posted some pictures, hopefully they will help with your trail planning!

My wife and hiked this trail in early June 2018 and loved every mile of its ever-changing scenery! We planned two nights out but heavy rains kept us off the trail and sleeping in our car in Juniper campground the first night. This place is solitude at its best—we were the only ones in the backcountry on a Saturday. The trail is challenging and will throw a lot at you: mud, high winds, poison ivy, ticks, river crossings, navigational challenges. These will vary based on the time of the year. We’re fast hikers but our overall average speed was only 1.5 mph.

We hiked the trail clockwise beginning at Juniper Campground and got one river crossing out of the way right off the bat. The river was swift and just over waist high. The riverbed is silt here and footing was sketchy. The second river crossing below Oxbow Overlook was easier as the riverbed is more rock than mud and footing was much better. There was a lot of mud and standing water on the trail from the previous night’s rain. The Bentonite clay that forms many of the badland features is very slick when wet and literally cakes the bottom of your boots with a thick layer of mud.

We had a GPS with a track of the trail, which came in very handy when we weren’t sure if we had gotten off the main trail or not. Many game trails intersect the trail. Every few minutes you should see an older wooden or newer brown Carsonite post. A few were lying on the ground. A ranger told us they have been working to improve navigation on the trail and this appeared evident to us. We still had to refer to our GPS numerous times.

Along the way, we stopped at Achenbach Spring to refill water. It had plenty of flow. It’s a pretty steep descent down to the spring. If it’s wet at all, good luck staying upright. We were getting buffeted by 50+ mph winds while walking the high prairie areas on either side of the spring.

We hiked about 13 miles the first day and camped in the valley a couple miles beyond Oxbow Overlook at the base of a butte. The grass in the cottonwoods along the river was too high and tick infested to consider camping in. Erosion of the buttes over the eons has created nice beds of sand at the base of them allowing for beach-like camping. Our boots and socks stayed off the entire evening. It was amazing to sit back at dusk and listen to the wildlife. Given the higher latitude and being at the far western edge of the Central Time Zone, it didn’t get completely dark until after 11pm under a clear sky. Several coyotes barking at our tent jolted us from sleep at 1am--a little frightening to say the least.

The next day we finished the trail. The first few miles after camp were spectacular! The climb up toward River Bend Overlook is steep and intersects with the Caprock Coulee Trail. We had to yield to a large bison standing at the intersection. Going right on the CCT follows a narrow ridge with the best vistas on the trail. Once we reached the road, we opted to hike it back to camp to finish out the loop.

All-in-all a great, challenging hike. What we liked best about the trail is the variety of habitats, the vistas and wildlife. Some of the amazing badlands formations deserve extra time for exploring. There is not a whole lot of info online about this trail so if you have questions, I'll try to help. Feel free to email me at rbell@digitalcarto.com.

Our tips: treat all of your clothing with Permethrin for tick control. Load a track of the trail on a GPS or phone app.; it will save you time. Always keep looking forward for the next trail marker. Stay off the badlands formations if its raining.

hiking
20 days ago

Good short hike! Trail was super easy to follow. Definitely worth your time.

hiking
1 month ago

Wish the trail was longer, we had the chance to be 5 feet from a bison which was pretty awesome.

hiking
5 months ago

This is very short, and it's hard to even call this a trail. It's more like a scenic overlook, but the views were amazing overlooking the Little Missouri, and I saw a lone bison nearby.

hiking
8 months ago

Due to past washout, the trail was hard to follow. With so many other spectacular trails in the park, this one isn't as impressive. I did spot a mule deer at close proximity along this trail.

backpacking
9 months ago

We had a great hike here over the Labor Day long weekend. The badlands rock formations are wonderful and we had the opportunity to see a lot of wildlife including Bison, Prairie Dogs and even a rattle snake. The first mile or so of this track (starting near the park entrance) is a bit narrower and steeper than we expected. I would suggest long pants because the undergrowth is quite prickly.

Awesome trail. Took me about 10.5 hrs to complete. Very little water in the late season.

Definitely an adventure with some areas through high grass and jumping small rivers but worth it to see every type of topography the park has to offer. Saw bison bones on the hike but limited animal life in August

hiking
10 months ago

Great challenge with amazing views.

fishing
11 months ago

This was excellent! I really enjoyed it and the solitude that was available. I went at 5pm or so, so there were not too many people. Great vistas.

walking
11 months ago

Easy walk with some stairs. Goes up to the Canyon and loops back down

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Amazing hike with the family.

trail running
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Defiantly a hard trail to run due to bison tracks making the trail really uneven but it's a great run if your looking for a challenge!

hiking
Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Watched the sunset from one of the lower points and it was beautiful. Definitely recommend finishing the day here, still very nice during the day too.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

This trail was beyond my equipment and provisions. Physically, I could've walked the trail, however my judgement told me, I did't have the equipment required for such a trek. The outdoors requires a level of respect, and out hear anything can happen.

I enjoyed the photos, don't buy upgrades walk'em !

hiking
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Good short hike. For geology buffs - amazing!

backpacking
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Buckhorn trail at Theodore Roosevelt National Park north unit was a great one day hike. It had a great mixture of hills, flats, and scenery. My favorite part was seeing a massive herd of bison on the plateau.

hiking
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Very short trail, the main point being the overlook of the Little Missouri River. Great view.

hiking
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Great place to watch the sunset.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Currently closed due to a washout. The ranger said it would be closed for a while since it was a pretty major washout

hiking
Monday, August 31, 2015

Short and sweet with some nice views of the Little Missouri River.

hiking
Monday, July 27, 2015

An amazing trail. Easy, with some great panoramic views.

hiking
Thursday, February 20, 2014

Its a short hike but one of my favorites. The view from the Butte was wonderful.

hiking
Tuesday, September 10, 2013

This trail is off the Scenic Loop Drive in the south unit of the Teddy Roosevelt National Park. There is one place where the trail is really steep, and we had to be careful not to slip and fall. The rest was easy and nearly level.

hiking
Wednesday, June 19, 2013

hiked the north achenbach. the trailmarkers are hard to see and the trail follows animal paths. it is easy to follow a path off the trail so watch carefully for the markers. early summer ticks are terrible through the grasslands bring repellant and be prepared to reapply. in my opinion if hiking the north unit the caprock coulee loop is a much more enjoyable hike. the veiws are better and the hills a little tougher. it is marked much better as well.

hiking
Thursday, June 14, 2012

NOTE*** this trail is located in the North Unit of the park. It is an hour north of Medora. The closest city is Grassy butte or Watford City! This is a great trail for backpacking or an extended day hike. It stays on the north end of the park and there alot of up and down and you cross a creek. There is a spring located along the trail. If you start at the caprock coulee trail head you can see a prairie dog town just a half mile up.

hiking
2 days ago

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