Trip Planning and Preparation
A trip on the Little Missouri River should not be taken lightly as the river winds through remote terrain. Emergency response could take hours or days and cell phones may not work in many areas. There are no reliable sources of drinking water, with the exception of Marmarth City Park, Sully Creek State Park, Medora, and the two campgrounds in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Temperatures and precipitation can vary widely in late spring. Plan to carry an adequate supply of water, food, warm clothing, and camping gear. Other supplies should include first aid supplies, maps, trash bags, sunscreen, spare paddles, and approved life jackets. All trash must be carried out with you.; Fires are not permitted within Theodore Roosevelt National Park; cooking on a gas-fueled stove is recommended.
Camping on private lands adjacent to the river is prohibited by most land owners. Some years when the river rises high on the flood plain, a thick layer of mud limits campsites to high terraces. All campers must follow Leave No Trace principles including proper disposal of human waste. Toilet paper should be carried out with you. A free backcountry permit is required for anyone planning to camp overnight in the national park. You can obtain the permit at any park visitor center.
All wildlife should be viewed at a distance. Bison can be found along the river corridor within the park. Throughout the length of the river, fences, including activated electric fences, may be strung across the water. Portaging around these obstacles may be necessary.