Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in the Little Missouri Badlands of western North Dakota. The park is comprised of three areas: South Unit, North Unit and Elkhorn Ranch Unit. View map
The South Unit entrance is next to the town of Medora, ND. Medora is accessible via Interstate 94, exits 24 and 27. Medora is 133 miles west of Bismarck, ND and 27 miles east of the Montana state line.
The Painted Canyon Visitor Center is located 7 miles east of Medora on I-94 at Exit 32.
The North Unit entrance is on U.S. Highway 85, approximately 14 miles south of Watford City, ND and 50 miles north of Belfield, ND. The distance by road from Medora to the North Unit is approximately 70 miles. I-94 travelers can access U.S. Highway 85 at Exit 42 in Belfield, ND.
Elkhorn Ranch Unit (see driving map)
The last three miles of the route the remote Elkhorn Ranch Unit sometimes require 4-wheel drive and/or a high-clearance vehicle, especially in winter or during and after rain showers. Inquire about current road conditions at park visitor centers before you embark.
Driving from the North Unit to the Elkhorn Ranch Unit
- Take US 85 north (left). Travel 13.8 miles to Watford City.
- Turn left at the light to stay on US 85. Travel 16.5 more miles on US 85.
- Turn left onto ND-68 W. Travel 16.7 miles.
- Turn left onto ND-16 S. Travel 31.4 miles.
- Turn left on Black Tail Road/FH 2 (gravel).
- Travel 12.2 miles.
- Turn right on Bell Lake Road (still FH 2).
- Travel 3 miles.
- Staying on FH2, turn left towards the USFS Elkhorn Campground. Follow FH2 for 3 miles, continuing past the campground and MDHT trailhead to the Elkhorn Ranch Unit parking area.
Driving from the South Unit to the Elkhorn Ranch Unit
- Take I-94 westbound to exit 10.
- At the end of the exit ramp, turn right on County Road 11 (gravel). Follow County Road 11 for 8.8 miles.
- Turn right on Westerheim Road. Follow Westerheim road for 6.5 miles.
- Turn left on Bell Lake Road. Follow Bell Lake Road for 11.7 miles.
- Turn right onto FH2 towards the USFS Elkhorn Campground. Follow FH2 for 3 miles, continuing past the campground and MDHT trailhead to the Elkhorn Ranch Unit parking area.
Seasonal Road Closures
Park roads or highways outside of the park may be closed in winter due to snow or icy conditions. Check the current park road status and North Dakota highway status prior to your visit.