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Places to overnight near Teddy Roosevelt NP?

Houston, TX
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212 posts
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Places to overnight near Teddy Roosevelt NP?

We will be driving north from Rapid City, SD, en route to the Lewis and Clark country (roads 1804 and 1806) along the Missouri River on August 3.

I'm not thrilled with staying in Medora -- reviews are not good - and would appreciate information on other spots to stay along US 85. We want to visit both sections of Teddy 's park, plus I'm looking for great photos.

All we need is a clean lodging with good shower and a comfortable bed. Cabins are fine, ditto Mom and Pops. Short jogs off US 85 are fine, as well.

Any suggestions? How about "don't miss" places to eat along that route?

Also, any estimates on how long the drive will take from Rapid City to Belfield?

Thanks for any and all suggestions.

Brownsburg-Chatham...
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1. Re: Places to overnight near Teddy Roosevelt NP?

I cant tell you too much about hotels because I camped at the campground in the National Park near Medora. There were a few hotels in the town of Medora. I think there was also 1 or 2 hotels in Bellfield where the US 85 meets wit I-94. I drove frome Bellfield to the Black Hills. I would approximate that it took around 3-4 hrs from Rapid City to Bellfield. It is a very good highway with not too much traffic and nice views of Buttes near the highway.

Elroy, Wisconsin
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2. Re: Places to overnight near Teddy Roosevelt NP?

RE: "reviews are not good " - This surprises me....I haven't heard or read anything really awful. Maybe the train whistles in the night, or prices maybe too high, or no grocery store? That's about the worst things I've read. We always get food at Albertson's in Dickinson if we need to, and with living near Wisconsin Dells, the prices at Medora don't seem too bad. Everyone that I've spoken to (friends & relatives) who've been there within the last two years have loved it there. We usually go over to Medora every few years or so to see the south unit of TR Park, the Chateau de Mores, the ND Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum & Medora Musical & had a great time. But we've stayed with relatives near Grassy Butte & Watford City, and haven't had to get a motel room there. My relatives from WI always camp in Cottonwood Campground in the south unit - they really love it there.

You could try to get reservations in Belfield, and Dickinson has several lodging places. We have stayed at the AmericInn in Dickinson three times now, and everything was very nice. It's been so long since I've been to either Fryburg or South Heart - they were very tiny communities, and I doubt there would be anything there for lodging now, but you could google them to see if anything is listed. There may be ranchers or farmers in these areas that host guided hunting trips, and might have some kind of accomodations available. We do love Medora, tho, and I'd be sad if you folks missed staying there if it turned out those reviews weren't very accurate. It's wonderful to drive into the park in the late afternoon and early evening - the wildlife is out & about, and you could get some awesome photos. Also, the sunsets are amazing! I'm so glad I have a digital camera now, cuz I used to spend a small fortune getting my trip pictures developed. :0)

For your night's stay near the north unit of TR Park - I think there are at least two motels in Watford City. May be more now, but I can't remember if there is one out on the northeast end of town or not. The ones I remember are on the southwest side - near where you come into town. No motels, cabins, etc in Grassy Butte unless very recent, like last couple of months - & I think we would have heard about that, as it would be huge news for the community. Not much in Grassy Butte these days, but they do have a small store/ gas station/ post office. You might enjoy stopping there to see the old Grassy Butte Post Office - log building with sod roof. My mom's dad homesteaded here & he had box #1. You'll most likely see antelope on both sides of the road between Fairfield & Grassy Butte. Also, muledeer & maybe whitetail deer as well. Some of the locals have seen elk, which have ventured out from the park units and the Killdeer Mountains. We've seen mountain sheep on the hillsides beside the road just before crossing the Little Missouri to enter the north unit. My relatives by Grassy Butte have seen mountain lions in this same area - crossing the road in front of them. They were huge. They are also extremely dangerous, and have been caught stalking humans in this area, so please be very careful if you encounter one.

Anywho, there used to be a motel at Killdeer, but it's no longer there, and I'm not sure if a new one has been built or not. My relatives know some people who have cabins between Killdeer and Mandaree, near where the road crosses the scenic Little Missouri River. I can call them to find out the name, but they might be more expensive than anything in Medora.

This whole area is very picturesque, from the badlands and buttes to the prairie wildflowers and windmills. We really enjoyed our trip one time going from Rapid City over to Belle Fourche & up to Buffalo, then east & up to Lemmon, SD. Then west a little ways to Haynes, then up thru Regent and Gladstone to I-94. We saw several antelope north of Belle Fourche, and there are historic sites around Buffalo where Indian battles were faught. Lemmon has a central city park full of petrified wood in all shapes & sizes - very interesting, and museum too. The road from Regent to I-94 is called the Enchanted Highway - a local farmer has built several huge metal sculptures over the last several years, and has placed them along this road. Very unique. We always see pheasants going this way as well - one time over 30 of them right beside the road.

This route will take a lot longer than just going up from Sturgis & taking US 85 all the way up to Belfield. I'm not sure how long it would take to drive either of these routes, as we stopped along the way to visit friends in Buffalo & Lemmon. I do remember that we ate in a little cafe in Buffalo, and the food was awesome. Their pies are so yummy! Also, great food at the cafe on the east side of main street in Lemmon.

Hope this info has been helpful - and hope you can stay in Medora. But if not, Dickinson is probably less than 45 minutes from Medora & the south unit of TR Park. Hope you folks have a great trip! :0)

3. Re: Places to overnight near Teddy Roosevelt NP?

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