Fall colors seemed to come on early in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota this year. So we spent time looking for them in the North Unit of the park in early September.
We Weren’t Alone
We seemed to have plenty of company as we hiked the sage covered prairies above the rugged badlands in the park. A lone bison greeted us over the crest of a hill. We stood still as he stared at us, for what seemed a long time. Then, he ran to join the rest of his herd nearby. More than one set of eyes tracked us as we moved away!
This Big Boy Seemed to Like Us!
(No…not really…..) *Bison are dangerous! Never approach them on foot!*
A drive through the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Watford City, North Dakota was exciting when this bull bison joined us on the park road! We progressed at the same speed for quite some time, then we slowly sped up to safely get away from him. This big boy let us know he was the king of the road, and we respected his status. Though this bull seems docile, in a split second his opinion of us on his road could have changed! There’s always brawn and beauty to be seen in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, in western North Dakota!
And the Wild Life was not so Wild
As the golden hour shrouded a warm light over the landscape, wildlife began to roam. Bison slowly grazed, deer calmly foraged alongside the roadway, and turkeys meandered through the grasslands. Time seemed to slow down, and we reveled at our surroundings.
Yellows and Golds and Blues
Our quest to spot seasonal color changes was successful. Three days earlier we had observed no yellow or gold foliage. On this trip, colors began to pop. As the sun lowered near the end of daylight hours, a golden light was cast over the landscape. Then, the color changed to blue. Magnificent! We left the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park as the sky darkened, content with our discoveries!
Last year’s fall colors were stunning! See them here: Soon You’ll Be Immersed in Brilliant Fall Colors!
There are three parts (units) of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Why? Find out here: What are the differences in the 3 units?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good North Dakota Badlands map?
The best map we’ve found is the U.S. Forest Service map. You can pick up a copy at the Western Edge Bookstore in Medora, the Forest Service office at Watford City, or the Forest Service office in Bismarck.
Are there street signs in the Badlands?
Yes and no. Many of the roads are marked with traditionally green street sign posts. Some are labeled with brown Forest Service Roads. Others just have a brown sign with a number on them, which are Forest Service road numbers. In many cases, maps and the occasionally trustworthy Google Maps service can tell you where you are.
Is there cell phone service in the Badlands?
Usually from the tops of hills you can connect with a tower somewhere. Anything lower than hill tops means you will likely not get cell phone service.
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