Lower Paddock Creek Trail is a 7.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Fairfield, North Dakota that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, trail running, and backpacking.

Distance: 7.2 miles Elevation Gain: 419 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

hiking

running

views

wildlife

no dogs

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
4 days ago

This was a great hike. Unfortunately, we were not able to experience it all. Twice we were foiled by two separate herds of Buffalo. The first we were able to get to a ridge line and watch them pass from a short distance. The second was not as easy and forced us to go back. You will see hundreds of prairie dogs and we also saw coyotes on the hunt on this trail. It was worth doing, but where bug spray and long pants. I came out of the ravine where the creek was with 6 ticks on me and my brother had a few as well. Unbelievable wildlife trail!

hiking
7 days ago

Saw tons of wildlife- prairie dogs, birds, snake, wild horses- though did not see bison. Some stream crossings. Would recommend doing the trail earlier in morning as it gets hot.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Amazing. Lots of wildlife. Buffalo encounters promised. More like 8 miles if the creek water is high. You will have to go off trail to find a way over the creek! Good luck!

hiking
muddy
washed out
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Awesome trail! It was super duper wet and muddy when I went , it had rained the day prior. At one point I was almost waist deep in water when you cross the creek (numerous times). The views were absolutely amazing though ! Also ran into a herd of bison , probably 80 bison were about 1 mile from the end. Spent a while watching them and then looped this trail back to jones creek trail. I’d for sure hold off on this one if it recently rained though , I was walking/sliding about 1 mile per hour hahaha !

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

Easy hike, albeit hot. Bring lots of water, a hat, and sunglasses. Spotted horses, Buffalo, a snake, and a million prairie dogs. Plus wildflowers, sagebrush, and amazing views. Loved it. My seven year old did as well.

hiking
9 months ago

I hiked in about three miles from the trailhead. I would have easily gone all the way to the road and back except for the fact that the trail was also being used by large herds of bison and they have the right of way. Most awesome traffic jam ever but it does slow you down. On couple I met were waiting over an hour for the herd to pass! The scenery is beautiful of course. I went on a sunny day in late August starting around 8:00 AM. The trail winds through a prairie dog town and over a rise. About a mile in I encountered a large bison herd. I took my time and made it past them safely. The water crossings were pretty easy. The mud was sticky and slippery but there was a solid bottom. Otherwise the trail was pretty easy.

hiking
10 months ago

Probably a nice trail, the prairie dogs were cool, but the flies were absolutely unbearable. They wouldn’t stop biting! Too painful to enjoy a hike.

hiking
10 months ago

I only did half because the creek got high and when I tried to find an alternative way around I came across a rattlesnake too close for comfort. Otherwise, lots of adorable prairie dogs along the way. No bison or horses. Beautiful views of the park all throughout. Pretty flat and mild. Definitely recommend long pants and sleeves even in the heat because of high grass. Little shade so wear a hat or buff.

hiking
10 months ago

I did the East loop. 11.5 miles saw more horses(2) and bison(2) than people(1). I always crossed the creek off trail. Trail crossings were to wide and deep but never had to travel more than 200 yards.

hiking
10 months ago

We went two miles in and then back. Lots of bindweed in bloom in prairie dog town. Abundant yellow clover and sage. At about 1 mile in a little shade under a tree, but that was the only shade. Saw rock with ranch branding. Soon after this rock the trail split and we took it to the left up to an arch and looked out across the land. Wild horses and buffalo were grazing in the distance. Took lots of pictures at arch, had a snack and headed back.

hiking
11 months ago

This was an easy but gorgeous trail, we started at 6:05am and went 1.5 miles in and then turned around instead of doing the whole thing. Saw a stallion, tons of prairie dogs and songbirds, rabbits, a mule deer buck in velvet, tadpoles in the creek and evidence of bison and elk. Sky was overcast when we started so colors popped nicely.

hiking
11 months ago

Lots of wildlife! This moderate 7+ or - trail was a great way to see the park you can’t see from the road. It’s well marked and the creek wasn’t flowing so crossings were a breeze. We saw pronghorn antelope, wild horses and of course those adorable prairie dogs. Beautiful breeze and scenery.

Wed May 08 2019

We did not do the whole trail. just the first portion with all the prairie dog towns. loved the hike. Beautiful view. LOTs of active prairie dogs. trail is well marked and easy to find good creek crossings. gets a little confusing at points with multiple trails but you can easily find the next post for the trail if you take a wrong track.

hiking
Tue Feb 05 2019

I was here for the September long weekend. The hike was amazing and the trail was well marked. Most creek beds were dry or there was always a way to get through close to the trail so you never had to get wet. Lots of Bison herds so you do have to be looking for them as they tend to like using the trails as well. Everyone should try this trail and I would rate it a low moderate trail.

hiking
Thu Nov 29 2018

Full disclosure: I did not hike the entire trail. Conditions were slick and my boots are just about ready to fall apart. But nonetheless this was a great hike that really did give you the feel of getting into the park. Would love to go back under different circumstances.

hiking
Sat Oct 06 2018

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

hiking
Wed Sep 26 2018

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!!

hiking
Sun Jun 10 2018

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.

hiking
Thu Jan 04 2018

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.

Tue Aug 29 2017

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

backpacking
Thu Mar 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!!

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

recorded Recording - Aug 12, 4:39 PM

9 months ago

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