Painted Canyon Overlook

Painted Canyon Overlook, Theodore Roosevelt National Park: Address, Phone Number, Painted Canyon Overlook Reviews: 4.5/5

Painted Canyon Overlook
4.5
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About
Begin your visit to the Teddy Roosevelt National Park with a spectacular view of the Badlands, a flat desert landscape broken by petrified wood and rock formations.
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Attractions
3 within 6 miles
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
268 reviews
Excellent
197
Very good
60
Average
11
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Grover R
Pensacola, FL16,286 contributions
This is an incredible free introduction to Theodore Roosevelt National Park that is easily accessed off I-94. It is not everything the park has to offer, but it will provide you some of the best breathtaking views of the badlands in the South Unit and it has the iconic stone entrance sign.

Personally, I think any complete visit to TRNP has to include visits to all the units, but if you are pressed for time you can easily come here right off the interstate and see a small, but very good, part of what the park has to offer. Another good thing is while both units require a fee, this stop is free. There is also a great trail, The Painted Canyon Nature trail, that is little over a mile round trip into the canyon.

I will say the views behind the Visitor Center here on the east canyon rim are stunning. Additionally the color of the soil in the badlands and vegetation on top and around them truly make this an artist's pallet. Likewise, if you are going to the park units, be sure to make this a stop on your visit. You will have to go outside the units to reach so make a plan to do so. It is a TRNP MUST SEE
Written September 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

FancyFree55
Florida7,461 contributions
Last time I drove through North Dakota was 1977, when I saw the painted canyons only from a distance. So during our summer 2020 road trip, we made it a point to add North Dakota to the route.

Upon arriving at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, we stopped first at the overlook and were pleased to find the South Unit visitor center open. Some of the national parks we visited still had shuttered VCs, while others wouldn't allow admission unless you hid behind a mask. The staff at this visitor center was warm and accommodating, as well as very informative. A nice variety of gifts and souvenirs were available for sale here.

There is no admission fee for the overlook section of the park. The views are only a short walk from the visitor center, and the vistas are exquisite. I learned some interesting details about the topography, and how the canyons are formed by "slumping." Strollers and wheelchairs are easily accommodated. We spent time at the overlook gawking and taking pics before heading on down the highway to the park's southwest branch visitor center.
Written November 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rebecca L
Atlanta, GA1,366 contributions
If you only have time to do one thing in TR National Park, stop by Painted Canyon for stunning views. There is a visitor center and restrooms in the parking lot. I also recommend you take the 1.0-mile loop trail to hike down into the canyon.
Written June 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

K hanna
6 contributions
Family
We traveled an extra 1.5 hours to see this because my husband said he saw reviews of the sunset. It was WELL WORTH it!! Probably one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen in real life. The kids thought it was amazing as well. Make sure you get there before dusk, because you only have about 15 minutes where you will see the sunset like this. You also get an incredible view of the Northern Badlands.
Written October 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SneakinDeacon
Christiansburg, VA1,427 contributions
If you are traveling on Interstate 94, use exit 32 access the Painted Canyon Visitors Center. If you are traveling west on the interstate this will most likely be your first view of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Here you will find a nice visitors center staff as always with helpful rangers and staff. I picked up a map from one of the rangers and made my way over to the overlook which afford you a grand view of the Badlands and the Canyon. There are a couple of trails that you can hike from the visitor’s center. The Painted Canyon Trail is almost four and a half miles long and is rated difficult. I chose to do the Easier Nature Trail. It’s about a mile loop trial and while I would say it’s was easy, it wasn’t overly difficult either. I stopped often to admire the view and to take photos and the entire loop took me about 45-minutes. After returning to the Visitor Center, I saw a few buffalo roaming freely. Rangers were constantly warning visitors that they were wild and dangerous, and you admire them from a safe distance. I ended up spending a little more than an hour here before making the short drive to Medora and a visit to the South Unit.
Written January 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John M
Hamilton, Canada495 contributions
Unlike the North Unit and the Medora entrances, this part of the park is actually free to enter! There are trucks resting at this lookout and admiring the majestic scenery. So if you're short on time on your way to Yellowstone, this is the best rest stop to do so to quickly tick an additional national park off your list.

It was unbearably hot when we went there so we didn't go to the trail. But the visitor centre has information about the park and sells souvenirs and Teddy Roosevelt national park swag and they have clean washrooms since it is a rest stop after all.

Because it was so hot, we didn;t stay that long but apparently this is a great spot to watch the sunset.
Written August 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Davigeta
Saint Louis, MO884 contributions
Very beautiful overlook into the park. I walked part of the Nature Trail and that was excellent as well, though the ascent back was tough (100 degrees that day!). The Visitor Center has good bathrooms. One negative- the visitor center was very crowded and felt like more of a place to buy merchandise and less of a place to get information about the park. Still, stop here.
Written August 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anne O
Argyle, TX3,775 contributions
This overlook gives you a sense of the gorgeous topography that TRNP has to offer. It is easily accessed from a parking lot on I-94. Just a quick stop allows you to see the colorful geological formations typical of the park. Hopefully you will have time to explore this wonder of nature more thoroughly by spending a few days in the park.
Written October 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bill K
Mantorville, MN6,306 contributions
If you don't have time for a visit to Theodore Roosevelt National Park this overlook gives you a small taste of what you are missing. The vistas at this rest stop are breathtaking, especially at dawn and dusk when the light changes the appearance of the various rock hues.

There is no charge for this overlook, plenty of parking, and public restrooms. Really no excuse not to take a stop her.
Written July 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Emily K
Fargo, ND142 contributions
***The Visitor Center was closed due to COVID but the bathrooms and hiking trail were still open.***

This site is not your average rest area. It is so much better. It offers the usual rest area amenities and a free look at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The hiking trail also gives you a great opportunity to stretch your legs after hours in the car.

The main lookout areas are wheelchair accessible, but the trail is not. The trail goes down into the canyon, so it is a climb back out. And due to the type of soil, the trail does erode easily and is very uneven in places, so keep that in mind when making the trek.
Written July 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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