It’s National Park Week, and Chimani sought help from its team of ambassadors to photograph, video, and write about what they love about their favorite national park. Below is from Callie Klinkmueller on Teddy Roosevelt National Park.
1. Wind Canyon
A beautiful short hike that offers one of the best views in the entire park, overlooking the Little Missouri River and into the valley, it is especially beautiful at sunset. It is one of the most picturesque spots in the park.
2. Buck Hill
A short but steep hike that leads to the highest point in the park. A 360 degree view of the badlands that, on a clear day, you can see for miles.
3. Cottonwood Campground
Even if camping isn’t your thing, you may want to give it a try at Cottonwood. The beautiful sites lead down to the Little Missouri River and the view of the stars at night is unparalleled. If you don’t decide to stay the night, still park and walk down to the river so you can dip your toes in and maybe even catch a glimpse of some of some bison cooling off in the river.
4. The Skyline Vista Prairie Dog Town
I personally think that watching prairie dogs play is the most entertaining, so I always stop at the prairie dog town right at the beginning of the driving loop every time I go through the park. Parking the car and taking it all in is a great way to see some wildlife, and often bison, wild horses or coyotes can be found meandering through the town.
5. Painted Canyon
Painted Canyon is the natural welcome sign to the park. The stunning overlook welcomes you to the badlands and shows off the wide variety of colors from the trees to the scoria. It is my favorite place to watch the sun rise.
6. Boicourt Overlook
The Boicourt Overlook area is my favorite place to see wild horses. Combine that with the stunning vista and it is a great place to stop and really take in the area. Added bonus; it is almost exactly halfway through the loop.
7. The Petrified Forest
In order to access the Petrified Forest, you have to take a short drive away from the park, but the drive and the medium length hike is well worth it to see the preserved wood from millions of years ago. Aside from the actual petrified wood, the open area is fun to explore and it is somewhere you can feel comfortable straying from the path to get a better a look at anything you find interesting.
8. Maah Daah Hey Trail
There are over 200 miles of trail to explore, with a large chunk of it running through the park. It is mostly used as a mountain biking trail but it is also popular with horseback riders and hikers. However you choose to use the trail, it is definitely worth exploring as it takes you through less-visited parts of the park.
9. Town of Medora
The little town that holds the entrance to the park’s north unit is worth a visit in and of itself. A cute downtown with shops and restaurants and if you visit between June and early September you have to go see the Medora Musical, a wild west variety show that is performed outside, every single night, all summer long. The show celebrated it’s 50th season in 2015 and it is definitely something you don’t want to miss.
10. A Range of Perspectives
My favorite part of TRNP by far is how many different ways you can experience it. The manageable loop around the north unit takes around and hour and a half to complete and cars and motorcycles make it very easy to see a lot of park highlights in a reasonable amount of time. You can take a trail ride through the park, mountain bike on the Maah Daah Hey, kayak down the Little Missouri or hike along the many trails. Any way you choose, you are sure to fall in love with this park as much as I have!
Callie Klinkmueller, Chimani Ambassador, Teddy Roosevelt National Park