Painted Canyon Nature Trail

EASY 17 reviews

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

DISTANCE
1.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
275 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

hiking

views

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
26 days ago

1 month ago

This trail was hot, exposed and did not really reveal anything that cannot be seen from the overlook at the rest stop. I enjoy when there are reveals within a hike to new vistas. On this hike, you go down a ways only to come back to where you started without seeing much new. It was certainly good workout though.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

The rest area and welcome center offer spectacular views with several options for hiking, whether you want to take a short walk into the painted canyon or you want to explore Teddy Roosevelt National Park in greater depth. The western access point offers the short loop to wet your appetite, while the eastern access point takes you down the painted canyon trail into the greater national park. You can't go wrong with either option.

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

A really fun hike, and a good warm-up for longer and more intense hikes, but we went after a major rainstorm and the mud turned this from a pleasant walking trail into a moderately grueling hike. Neat scenery, and a memorable experience scrambling up slippery mud slopes, but fair warning if you go during/shortly after heavy rain: you will be FILTHY by the end.

10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 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
11 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.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

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.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

hiking
Saturday, July 02, 2016

Beautiful. Kg and Laney loved it.

hiking
Friday, May 27, 2016

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.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

hiking
Sunday, August 18, 2013

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.