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Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay

Each year I try to visit a new national park or at least one I have not visited lately. Last year was Big Bend and the year before that was Isle Royale. I have actually been to both of those, but this year was a true new park as I had never visited Theodore Roosevelt National Park before.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Photo Essay

Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay

Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay – The view from my backcountry campsite

Related post – Welcome back U.S. National Parks photo essay

Although the park ranks in the middle for visitors, most people I have spoken to had not heard of it before I mentioned it. I had never heard of it myself until a few years ago. My curiosity about this little known park was perked when I met a fellow hiker over drinks and dinner a few years ago. He said that Theodore Roosevelt is where park rangers go to hike. I have no idea where he got this information, but the statement made the park seem very appealing. I finally decided to visit and do a road trip through North Dakota.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Photo Essay from the South Unit

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is quite similar to the Badlands National Park, but I think it is even prettier as the badland formations have more color here and there are more trees. The hiking is also better in Theodore Roosevelt. I spent four days here hiking and driving the two scenic drives – one in the South Unit and one in the North Unit.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay – South Unit scenic drive

I was really stunned at the beautiful scenery found in this park. It is right up there with Zion, Grand Canyon, and Yosemite in scenic beauty. The badland formations may not be as spectacular as the three parks I mentioned, but there are so many astonishing views in this park that it is hard to make any time hiking or driving as you just want to continue snapping away.

Theodore Roosevelt bison

I love getting shots of bison in front of rock formations like this

Theodore Roosevelt is located in west North Dakota right along Interstate 94. The closest town to the South Unit is Medora and Watford City is the closest to the Northern Unit. The North Unit I think is a little prettier as the buttes and formations are a little higher and more spectacular. It is also less visited as it is 55 miles from the highway; whereas the South Unit is only about ten. They are both worth a visit. There will be more posts coming featuring the wildlife, backpacking, and the wonderful scenic drives.

Theodore Roosevelt North Dakota

Even the small rock formations are brilliant here

Theodore Roosevelt scenic drive

Theodore Roosevelt National Park from the Southern Unit scenic drive

Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay

Love these teardrop formations – From the Southern Unit scenic drive

Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay

Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

There are just so many amazing views in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay

Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay – More from the Southern Unit scenic drive

Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay

Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay – Southern Unit scenic drive

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Riverbend

On to the northern unit from the River Bend overlook on the scenic drive

Little Missouri National Grasslands

Theodore Roosevelt is part of the Little Missouri National Grasslands, so a photo essay without a picture of the prairie would not be representative of the park

Little Missouri River

From the Juniper Campground on the Little Missouri River in the Northern Unit

Riverbend Overlook

River bend overlook near dawn at the Northern unit

Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay

Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay

Buckhorn Trail

Along the Buckhorn Trail in the Northern Unit

Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay

The colors of dusk mixed with the colors of the rocks at Theodore Roosevelt are a winning combination

Theodore Roosevelt Achenbach

From the Achenbach Trail

Adventure on!

The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then sign up for the email newsletter. Notifications are sent out once or twice a month with what is new with Traveling Ted’s adventures. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).

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12 Responses to Theodore Roosevelt National Park photo essay

  1. Stephen Garone September 20, 2015 at 8:49 pm #

    Gorgeous photos! This park was easily the most beautiful part of all of North Dakota that I saw. Thanks for sharing.
    Stephen Garone recently posted..Finding the Best Restaurant in Downtown Bismarck, North Dakota

    • Traveling Ted September 20, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

      Yes, that is for sure Stephen, but I really enjoyed the rest of the state as well. The scenery was not as spectacular elsewhere, but it was interesting and pretty in its own way.

  2. Leigh September 25, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

    The photos totally make me want to visit Ted. I had no idea there was such colour. Checking to see how much of a drive it is from Calgary. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Traveling Ted September 30, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

      Sure thing Leigh. Theodore Roosevelt has some red and blue rocks, so it is a little more colorful than the Badlands. There is also better adventure opportunities here with several backcountry backpacking trails, the Little Missouri River for canoeing, and a long bike path.

  3. Erin Marie at The World Wanderer September 29, 2015 at 3:12 am #

    Even though I was driving across the US when you were posting some of these photos, I was so jealous that my trip did not include a stop in North Dakota. The scenery here is unreal and so beautiful. I will definitely have to see it for myself one day. ND is still a state I haven’t been to, and this is making me want to hop on a plane and get there now! I haven’t heard of the park before, so thanks for the heads up. 🙂
    Erin Marie at The World Wanderer recently posted..Two Days in Yellowstone National Park

    • Traveling Ted September 30, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

      I spent a whole week in North Dakota and could have spent at least two more. A lot more to see and do than I realized.

  4. Hannah Lukaszewicz September 30, 2015 at 6:55 am #

    We just visited Theodore Roosevelt National Park in August! Loved it, way exceeded my expectations.
    Hannah Lukaszewicz recently posted..Tips for Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    • Traveling Ted September 30, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

      I know going in how beautiful it would be, so I was not surprised nor was I let down. Glad to hear you enjoyed it as much as I did.

  5. the lazy travelers October 5, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

    absolutely beautiful photos, tedward! especially love the one of the prairie grasses!
    the lazy travelers recently posted..#LTespana // one week on the costa blanca

  6. Lance | Trips By Lance October 7, 2015 at 3:56 am #

    This is a beautiful park. I believe people who don’t know much about the Dakotas share the opinion too much that the two states aren’t worth visiting. I wasn’t aware of this park. It’s one of those beauties that makes living in the Upper Midwest even more attractive.

    • Traveling Ted October 18, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

      I have now been to both South and North Dakota and would gladly return to either state in a heartbeat.

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