(Are you getting hungry for some Badlands adventures, this summer? These menu items of Badlands adventures are here to help you plan your trip to the Badlands.)

What type of Badlands visitor will you be this year? Binge? Snack? Graze? Or holiday feast?

How can you get it all?

North Dakota’s Badlands include millions of acres of public access, three national park units, one state park, several public campgrounds, and over 200 miles of trails

You can’t do it all in one shot.  So, how do you like to explore the Badlands? Start planning your Badlands adventures here.



binge menu


Do you go on several Badlands adventures in one short span of time? Your preference is to fill up on everything you can.  Where do you start? Then, where do you go?  Finally, where do you end up? If you cram in trails, historic sites, campgrounds, rodeos, powwows and scenic points in a couple of days, then go without for a while until next time, you could be a binge explorer.

A Badlands Binge Explorer is a visitor who is excited by the landscape, the open spaces, the ruggedness and the beauty.  So, the “binger”  tries to do as much as possible in the time they have. They drive in to the region of Western North Dakota and whet their appetite with a nearby, easy and quick  sample.  Perhaps they’ll sample the Long X Museum in Watford City, the Grassy Butte Post Office historic building, the Dinosaur Museum in Dickinson or just take a scenic drive through the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  

Once their appetite is whetted, a “binger” will get antsy to get into the Main Course.  So, they dig in, prepared to devour what is in front of them. They may get a little messy with a finger-lickin’ good entree. Maybe they’ll head north of Killdeer to the Little Missouri State Park. 

Or, perhaps go south of Watford City and turn in to the CCC Campground where the Long X Trail gets a “binger” in to the landscape. 

Or south of Grassy Butte, turn west on Magpie Road where “bingers” cross the Maah Daah Hey and can gobble up the scenery on the trail to the ice caves.


Snacksnack menu


Do you occasionally make a swing through one of the national park units to see the bison?  If from time to time, a couple times a year, you drive through Medora, or Little Missouri State Park to get a visual reminder of how good it is, you may be a snack visitor.

Snack visitors look for a sample that will hold them over until they can enjoy a full meal of the Badlands.  

They look for something that will give them a flavorful moment without eating a full meal.

So, they stop at the Western Edge Bookstore in Medora to get some ideas of a full course Badlands adventure.

Some may take a scenic drive north of Sidney, Montana, or west of Watford City to three man-made landmarks that are unlike anything — and are easy to access from the car: the Fairview Lift Bridge, the Cartwright Tunnel and the Snowden Lift Bridge are right there to sample. But beware: once sampled, a snacker may want to come back for a full serving!



graze menu

Grazing eaters know what they like.  They know where it is, and they’re not in a hurry to get it.

Do you explore different parts of the North Dakota Badlands 12-months of the year?  Do you take regular trips, hikes, bicycle rides, horseback rides, float a canoe or kayak in the Badlands and then go home knowing you didn’t get your fill. That means you will be back, because you may be a grazer.

Grazers know exactly what they’re looking for, the place where they will get their fill of good stuff. It could be a camping weekend at Magpie, Elkhorn or Burning Coal vein. That is where, grazers are tucked in the trees and can access trails, hills, valleys and wildlife.  They are oblivious to distractions. They are immersed in the quiet and the isolation.

Some grazers explore the settlements, villages and towns in the Badlands where they can browse among the stores and shops.  They know that each town presents a unique retail experience.  For example, they may choose to graze in Beach at Prairie Fire Pottery, or the clothing stores in town.

Their grazing will take them to local eateries such as Past Time in Marmarth, Buckskin in Killdeer or the Metanoia in Watford City.

They can find local breweries where beer is tied to the region with specialized flavors such as Latifrones, and Maah Daah Hey at Stonehome Brewery.


Feastfeast menu

Do you plan a once-a year camping expedition to one of the campgrounds (Magpie, Burning Coal Vein, Juniper or Cottonwood)? Does getting in to a full course meal of all the Badlands offers the kind of experience you look forward to? Feasters engorge themselves on all they can get of Badlands adventures.

If you schedule an annual trip once a year,set up a base camp and then explore the trails, or go to the Medora Musical you could be a holiday feaster. You’ll see motor homes and RVs parked for several nights at the national park campgrounds, Juniper and Cottonwood.  You can be sure those folks know how to feast on the Badlands.

Feasters time their visit to match events happening year-round in the Badlands.  There’s always something to do, whether it is a barbecue contest,  fat bike race, a rodeo or a powwow.  They know they can’t do the whole thing in just an afternoon, or a day, or a weekend.

So, feasters plan on several days, perhaps a week to get all the North Dakota Badlands they can get. When they return home, they are satisfied. Their photo album and memory banks are full of reminders.

That’s a full menu of ideas!

How do you like your North Dakota Badlands adventure served up?  What works best for your lifestyle?  You’re at the right place to get ideas to satisfy your hunger for adventure and explorations.  That’s why Beautiful Badlands ND exists. Subscribe or follow on Facebook and your appetite will find what it’s looking for.

Or invite us to speak to your group to share the bounty of delectable explorations in the North Dakota Badlands.

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