History of the Killdeer Mountain Roundup

For nearly 100 years the Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo has entertained families at the start of summer, sometimes at the end of June, but most often around the Fourth of July Holiday.  Then, it moved to town about 60 years ago, in 1955.

For 85 years, it was on a flat below the hills near Oakdale. North of Killdeer, to the west of Highway 22, Oakdale is just a faded memory today — and a cemetery.  But there was a time when it was the most popular town in the western part of the state.  The Killdeer Mountain Roundup helped make Oakdale a thriving community

North Dakota history is incomplete without a nod to the oldest continual sanctioned rodeo in the state. Read the history here.

Scroll down to see what the original Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo grounds near Oakdale look like, today.

 Killldeer Mountain Roundup. started in Oakdale, north of Killdeer.


From the beginning at Oakdale, one of the trademark attractions to the Killdeer Rodeo was the hillside arena. This image from 1924 shows how the tradition started before the rodeo moved into Killdeer.


Killdeer Mountain Roundup

On top –The Killdeer Mountain Roundup attracted hundreds of spectators from across the region who bounced down old rutted gravel roads to park their jalopies on the hillside.

Below — The same valley as it is today.


Starting with the first gatherings at Oakdale in 1924, and continuing to today, the core group of locals put in the work to keep it going. 

The Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo is the oldest Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) sanctioned rodeo in the state.   It’s the long tradition of local cowboy competition that makes this rodeo unique of all the rodeos in North Dakota.

As warmer weather greets us, there’s lots to do in the Badlands such as Dunn County, Killdeer and the Little Missouri State Park. Sign up to get first notice of events and opportunities for you to enjoy adventures in the Badlands.

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