Ranger-Guided Field Trips

What better way to learn about the park than alongside a Park Ranger? Students often enjoy the opportunity to make a personal connection with a ranger while learning about the park and it's resources. And we rangers enjoy it too!

However, due to high demand and limited staffing, we are not always able to accommodate requests for ranger-led trips. Our highest demand is in the month of May. The best way to secure an opening is to submit a request well in advance.

Requesting a Ranger-led Field Trip
Please call 701 623 4730 ext.1418. We will ask for the following information in order to find out if we can accommodate your request:

  • Date of field trip
  • Arrival and departure time
  • Planned Itinerary
  • Number of students and chaperones
  • Grade level
  • Accomodations we can make to help students with disabilities

Field Trip Requirements

Academic Fee Waiver

Please review the requirements for an academic fee waiver. Most school groups qualify for the waiver. If not obtained 3 weeks in advance, school groups will be charged normal entrance fees upon arrival.


Pre-site lessons are proven to strengthen the connections students make while they are at an educational site. Their field trip to the park should enhance knowledge they already have, not introduce brand-new concepts. The provided lesson plans on our website provide useful pre-site activities.

Behavior Expectations

Students should understand the significance of national parks and model behavior appropriate to a National Park setting such as respecting wildlife, leaving all resources as they are found (i.e. rocks, bones, flowers, etc.), and respecting other visitors.

What to Bring (and What not to Bring)

Dress appropriately for the weather. Sunscreen and hats are recommended. Close-toed shoes are required. Long pants should be worn for hikes and prairie dog town explorations. If students are not dressed appropriately, the ranger may choose to alter or cancel planned activities in order to keep students safe.

Bag lunches should be disposable/recyclable. Be sure students bring enough water to last the day, (and extra water if you plan to hike).

Students should not use electronics during ranger-led activities. This includes cameras, phones, tablets, etc. These items often become distractions and inhibit connections between students and the resource.


Groups should have a minimum of one adult for every ten students. Chaperons are expected to help with student behavior and participate in activities, but should avoid jumping and helping students answer questions. We know this stuff is fun! But try to let the kids do their own thinking and learning.


Ranger-led Field Trip Programs

Tour Roosevelt's Maltese Cross Cabin
Social Studies and Theodore Roosevelt

While exploring Roosevelt's cabin and listening to stories of his adventures in Dakota Territory, students will learn about Roosevelt's connection to North Dakota and how his experiences here influenced his long-lasting contributions to conservation. The video "Finding Roosevelt" and its assessment activity are excellent pre-site resources for this program.
Program duration is 30-45 minutes (offered in the South Unit only)

Pondering the Prairie Dog
Ecology and Life Sciences

Students will observe a busy prairie dog town while learning the role of a keystone species and how these curious little ground squirrels maintain the health and diversity of the prairie.
Program duration is 1 hour 30 minutes (travel to dog town not included) In the South Unit there are several dog towns alongside the scenic road. In the North Unit, students must hike 1 mile to the dog town (2 miles roundtrip).

Rock and Stroll
Earth Sciences and Geology

While hiking a short trail (less than one mile) students will see evidence of weathering and erosion and learn about the geologic processes at work in this bizarre landscape. Students will discover how ancient ecosystems and events contributed to the shapes and colors of today's badlands.
Duration is 2 hours.

Last updated: January 16, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 7
Medora, ND 58645


(701) 623-4466

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