Trip Planning Questions
Where is the park? Theodore Roosevelt National Park is comprised of three separate areas of land in southwestern North Dakota.
Can I drive my own vehicle in the park? Yes - in fact, it's best to have a vehicle, or at least a bicycle. There is no public transportation in the park.
What is there to do? The North and South Units have scenic drives, opportunities for wildlife viewing, visitor centers and museums, and opportunities for many kinds of outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. The Elkhorn Ranch Unit is a place to discover and reflect on Roosevelt's life.
When is the park open? The park never closes - you may enter and exit at any time. Entrance fees always apply.
Can I camp in the park? The park has primitive campgrounds open year-round. Pick up a free permit in a visitor center if you wish to camp in the backcountry.
Are there hotels or cabins for rent in the park? No.
Where can I stay while visiting? A variety of lodging and dining options are available in nearby communities.
Are pets allowed? Yes. Please be aware of the rules and regulations in place to keep you, your pets, and park wildlife safe.
Can I ride my horse in the park? Yes. See the badlands the way Roosevelt did - from the back of a horse! Remember to ride safely and follow all horse-use rules.
History and Facts
How big is the park? In total, the park is 70,446.89 broken down among the units as follows:
South Unit 46,158.57 acres
North Unit 24,070.32 acres
Elkhorn Ranch Unit 218 acres
When was the park established? The park was established at Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park in 1947. In 1978, it was redesignated as Theodore Roosevelt National Park. But there's a lot more to the story.
How many bison are in the park? The North Unit herd is maintained at between 100 and 300 animals, while the larger South Unit supports a herd of between 200 and 500 bison. Learn more about wildlife management.
When did Theodore Roosevelt live here? Roosevelt first visited the Little Missouri Badlands on a bison hunting trip in 1883 at the age of 24. He purchased the Chimney Butte Ranch, also known as the Maltese Cross Ranch, at the end of his hunting trip. The next year, he established his second ranch, the Elkhorn. He was never a full-time resident of Dakota Territory, but spent time here managing his ranches off and on over the next few years. You can learn more about Roosevelt's time in Dakota or view a timeline of his life.
Last updated: December 8, 2020