Painted Canyon Overlook
Painted Canyon Overlook
4.5
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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3 within 6 miles

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles275 reviews
Excellent
200
Very good
63
Average
12
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Rebecca L
Atlanta, GA1,559 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SneakinDeacon
Christiansburg, VA1,604 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TrailTrekker15
Tallahassee, FL5,099 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
We stopped by the rest area and visitor center at Painted Canyon Overlook. It was our first taste of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The facilities and area was a bit messy from dogs and people. The overlook was excellent though with a view over the North Dakota badlands. I was also able to speak with a ranger and get a good itinerary for the day exploring both the North and South Units of the park. I wouldn’t make this the main stop of the day, but I found it to be a good starting point to learn all the Theodore Roosevelt National Park has to offer.
Written August 1, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bill K
Mantorville, MN6,312 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Davigeta
Saint Louis, MO1,087 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dawn C
Washington, IL87 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
This is only ten minutes from Medora, where we stayed. We approached it from the east so decided to stop here first. Nice view of the park. We spent about ten minutes taking pictures. We got there late, so decided to go back in the morning, and found that it was filled with bison in the parking lot.
There is a trail there called painted Canyon Trail, which we took. It’s a little difficult if you have bad knees. Coming out of the trail, we found ourselves surrounded by bison.
Whatever you do, do not try to cross between groups of bison, even if there’s space. When we tried to do that to get to our car, one of them charged us. We backed away and he stopped. We had to go around the back of them. Very nice visitor center there.
Written August 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Arthur M
Hamilton, Canada1,418 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anne O
Kennesaw, GA3,820 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Emily K
Fargo, ND141 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
***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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rcf406
Saint Louis, MO15 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Easy to access, and surprisingly beautiful. Right of the Interstate avoiding the crowds of Medora. Good Quick look at some of the Badlands landscapes that made this area so interesting. Access to trails if you so desire
Written October 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Painted Canyon Overlook - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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