Things To Do

Several bison crossing a road while a red vehicle waits.
Bison and other wildlife are frequently spotted along scenic drives.

NPS / Jessica Bundage

Scenic Drives

The South Unit's scenic drive is a 48 mile scenic drive beginning and ending in Medora, ND. Driving alone takes 2 hours. Allow additional time for whatever activities you do or stops you make along the way. The entire loop lies within the Little Missouri Badlands.

The North Unit's 28 mile scenic drive takes roughly 1 hour 15 minutes to complete without stops (roundtrip, out-and-back). The road rolls across the badlands and then climbs up to the historic River Bend Overlook. From there, it traces the rim of the prairie with sweeping badlands views all the way to the end of the road at Oxbow Overlook.

While badlands scenery is the main attraction, there's so much more to do and see along these roads. Scenic overlooks feature exhibits highlighting features on the landscape, history, and habitats. Hiking trails of varying lengths depart from trailheads along the roads. Scenic drives usually yield the best wildlife viewing opportunities - travelers cover more ground by road than on foot and enclosed vehicles offer safe, up-close encounters not otherwise possible.
  • A ranger and group of park visitors standing along a trail on a grassy ridge.
    Outdoor Activities

    Find all the ways you can get out and explore your national park.

  • A little tent in prairie grasses with buttes in the background.

    The park's primitive campgrounds are located in shady cottonwood groves at the edge of the Little Missouri River.

  • A child looks out into the sunny badlands with hands on hip and foot resting atop a rock.
    Activities for Kids

    The park has special event and activities geared towards families with children, including a Jr. Ranger program.

  • A ranger stands in front of a group of seated park visitors
    Join a Ranger-led Program

    Take a guided hike, attend a bison chat, tour Roosevelt's cabin, and more! Ranger-led programs are in full swing this summer.

  • A calendar icon in front of a picture of the full moon over the badlands.

    Find out what's happening in the park during your visit.

  • The Milky Way galaxy across a starry night sky.
    Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival

    A three-day festival including star viewing,special presentations, rocket building and launching, children's activities, and more!

  • Green grass, blue cloudy sky, white tipis in front of a white fort wall and bastion with a red roof
    While you're here...
    Nearby Places

    There's so much to do and discover in Western North Dakota. Here are some ideas for while you're here...


Outdoor Activities

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    Last updated: January 31, 2024

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    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    PO Box 7
    Medora, ND 58645


    701 623-4466

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