Explore the most popular trail running 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.

Had beautiful weather and did not encounter another person. Loved the scenery and saw a few buffalo. Well marked and easy to navigate.

Just did a small portion of the south loop due to time constraints. Beautiful area, cool petrified wood.

Very cool thing to see. We started off going to the south loop but shortly along the path a big bison came up along the trail blocking our way. We waited a while but ended up turning around and going north. This was a gorgeous part of the loop! It was quite chilly and windy.

Stunning views! Saw two large herds of bison. One young bull gave us a bit of a scare even though we stayed very far away (at least 200 yards) but be aware of your surroundings for sure. Also saw a gorgeous herd of 7 wild horses, a coyote, and tons of prairie dogs. The creek crossings were a bit tricky and we cut off the last 0.2 as we didn’t see a way to cross without getting soaked. Absolutely stunning and worth it!!

Outstanding trail and petrified forest was amazing. Dear lord I sound like Donald Trump.

hiking
25 days ago

Full disclosure my wife and I only hiked to the prairie dog town and back. Good prairie views and of the concretions, and of course the prairie dogs.

My husband and I did this trail in August, 2018 at the recommendation of park rangers, we wanted some experience with an overnight hike. It was a hot day and we had plenty of water and our filter, however thee was no water source to use to refill or filter, the juniper campground was close to the trail so we hiked there to refill then tried to find a spot to pitch our tent. The trail had some very poorly marked areas, we went off the main trail several times, making this 12 mile hike over 16. Had it not been for the excellent AllTrails app, not sure we would have found the trail. We did see beautiful peaks and a lone bison which we gave wide berth. Prairie dog town was cute, you are very close to them. The final few miles were impossible to find the trail so we hiked on or near the road.

This trail was beautiful! Be careful-there we’re a ton of ticks in the high grasses and bring plenty of water for everyone in your party. Also be careful around the bison. All the ones we saw were very calm but they can charge at any time. One was directly in our path to return and we had to keep our distance. The rock formations and petrified trees were pretty awesome though!

Great views, creek crossing can be somewhat challenging. I joined this trail with the talkington ‘sp ‘ trail. Underestimated water usage. Temps over 90. Great way to experience the Park.

Nice trail. A couple of steep areas that were slick due to rain the night before went out and back approx 3 mi and took the left veer to petrified forest. Worth the hike. Amazing!

backpacking
4 months ago

It was a solid trail. We started about 3pm in the afternoon and made it almost the entire loop. Set up camp about 1 to 1.5 miles from where we parked (we started on north side so camped on south side). Most the hike is up on the perched high grassland. A lot of pronghorn and buffalo.

Good trial, lots to see! Overall lovely hike!

hiking
5 months ago

If it has rained in the past 2 weeks do not try this Trail. they will be too many muddy Hills and you may not finish it . you might just end up hurting yourself . you're better off just waiting until it dries before you try the Trail.

Great trail that gives you a bit of everything the Badlands has to offer. I would give this a moderate rating though as there are some steep areas. Saw bison and pronghorn while hiking. Well marked. No shade, so hat and sunscreen required.

The trail is a great way to experience the park. I did this on a 100 degree day in July, but the actual hike was not that challenging, providing you bring enough water. The biggest challenges were the flies and frequent crossings of a muddy creek.

hiking
11 months ago

Started out on a breezy day with 45 mph wind gusts. Felt like we were going to get blown off the ridge. Made it a ways down the northern loop and got blocked by a stubborn bison camped out on the trail. So we decided this was not our day and headed back! Plenty of petrified tree stumps to see though before you hit the ridge.

backpacking
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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.

backpacking
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Beautiful in its own way. Mostly arid and Little shade. Close up buffaloes and also a coyote. Lots of prairie dog villages.

hiking
Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hiked the north branch out and back. Surprisingly nice petrified tree trunks in the eroded wash. Nice views further up the trail on the high flats.

hiking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

Great challenge with amazing views.

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!

backpacking
Thursday, March 02, 2017

This is a beautiful trail that winds through the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It can be used for backcountry camping which is what I did. I saw wild horses, buffalo and 3 prairie dog towns. If you are planning to backcountry camp on this trail heed my warning. There are many stream crossings throughout this trail. The water can not be filtered because it contains bentonite clay. It will ruin your filter. Bring the water you will need for your trip. Also heed this warning, make sure you pay close attention to the weather. My weekend had no rain in the forecast but a HUGE thunderstorm rolled through one evening. I woke up the next morning to find that the river crossings had risen to over my head. They don't call them the badlands for nothing people! It is a beautiful trail none the less!!

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

THIS WAS SUCH A GREAT HIKE! I did the painted canyon trail at the start of the morning, and talked to a girl at the visitor center and she recommended me this trail. She said that she usually walks the trail in a little over 2 hours. I thought she was crazy. But this trail brought you through the petrified forest. up to the top of the prairie grasslands, and down into the badlands. Seeing all the petrified forest was amazing how much there was just out here. Seeing the Missouri River from down below and the colors of the sediments was incredible. Then hiking the last third of the trail through the badlands was pretty awesome. The terrain had a couple steep moments, but they were just hills, nothing to complain about. If i would of see a bison or two in the prairie area I think would of made the most of this whole trail.

hiking
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

So much to look at! The changing landscape is amazing & the petrified wood is fascinating.

hiking
Friday, August 19, 2016

From the canyons to the petrified forest to hiking amongst bison on the prairie, this is one of my favorite places to hike. And no bothersome insects. That was in August.

hiking
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

There is a lot of petrified wood to look at on this trail which is interesting. Portions of the area are maybe like the surface of the moon or something.

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.

trail running
Sunday, May 22, 2016

Ran it in May. I thought it was a perfect trail to run and the petrified wood is cool! Lots of ticks tho!

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