Good Before it Closed — A Sunday Snapshot

Good Friday was a good day, and happy families enjoyed the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The park is closed until May 9, but until it was closed, it was quite popular with families.  

(Good News!  We know 10 more spots that are not closed!)

However, it seems so many happy families enjoyed the park, that officials decided to close it a few days later.  According to the official statement people were concerned about health risks:

“The National Park Service has listened to concerns raised by our local communities and elected leaders requesting that the park temporarily close.”

happy healthy hiker bison

A lone hiker on Buckhorn Trail needed to take a detour to get around that bison laying on her path.

Healthy Activities While the Park was Open

The day was pleasant and attracted many people to get away in social isolation in the park.  Miles and miles of trail allowed social-distancing and some heart-pounding hikes up hills such as the Caprock Coulee Trail.

happy healthy hiker

Going up the Caprock Coulee Trail

When the sun got low, hillsides hid in the shade, and so did the mule deer.  How many can you spot on this hillside?

happy healthy deer on a hill

How many deer to you see?

Exercise and fresh air were abundant before the park closed, and some people used their road bikes to get their heart rate and their legs pumping.


happy healthy bicyclists

After pedaling up the scenic route, two local road bicyclists scoot down hill. Wouldn’t that be a hoot!

The north unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park doesn’t get as many visitors as the south unit. That’s because the south unit is next to a popular tourist town, Medora, and is right on Interstate 94.  The North Unit is by itself 15 miles from the nearest town.  It has one road — in and out on the same road. We saw this vintage GMC pickup cruise up the hill.  By the time it came down, we were on a trail above the road.

happy healthy vintage pickup

A vintage GMC pickup cruises the scenic byway on a pleasant afternoon.

The 10 Best Spots

Many happy families said they were hurt and sad by the abrupt closure.  They saw the Park as a useful destination while they obeyed suggestions to isolate.  

The good news is, the North Dakota Badlands are HUGE!  We picked the 10 best spots from Watford City to Marmarth for you to stay healthy, and obey social-distancing rules.

From here on out, we’re exploring each of the 10 in more depth to give you a head start on where you want to enjoy the North Dakota spring.  Just subscribe and you’ll get an email in your inbox when each new destination is published.