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“Beautiful, Uncrowded”
Review of South Unit

South Unit
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Popular area of the park for hiking and horseback riding.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

We visited this park late in the afternoon on our way from Billings to Dickinson. The staff in the visitor's center graciously offered to run the film for us before they closed, and suggested that if we didn't have time to drive around the whole loop we should at least take the western part of the drive. We were not disappointed. The Badlands here are not as stark or vibrant as the South Dakota Badlands, but there is much more vegetation which provides a home for a wider variety of wild life. In just the short time we spent in the park we saw a huge herd of bison in a green meadow next to the Little Missouri River, deer, and several prairie dog towns. We passed an inviting wooded camp and picnic site along the river. Having been in the height of summer traffic in Yellowstone the day before, we were delighted with this peaceful, quiet place.

The movie was very informative, both as to Theodore Roosevelt's involvement in this area and the geology of the landscape. Many people we have talked to since being there had never heard of Theodore Roosevelt National Park; what a shame. When reviewing our trip (there were eight of us - grandma, 2 daughters, 5 grandchildren) one of my daughters said this was her favorite of all the sites we visited. If you are going to be in western North Dakota, make this a must-see stop!

2  Thank margie1928
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"buck hill"
in 14 reviews
"prairie dogs"
in 75 reviews
"wild horses"
in 62 reviews
"the loop"
in 48 reviews
"national park"
in 28 reviews
"bison"
in 79 reviews
"visitor center"
in 25 reviews
"north dakota"
in 16 reviews
"wind canyon"
in 9 reviews
"painted canyon"
in 17 reviews
"theodore roosevelt"
in 11 reviews
"maltese cross"
in 6 reviews
"turkey"
in 4 reviews
"few hours"
in 7 reviews
"beautiful park"
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"scenic drive"
in 10 reviews
"take pictures"
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149 - 153 of 175 reviews

Reviewed August 12, 2012

The gateway community of Medora was cute, though it is not very big and there were not as many choices for a good lunch as we had hoped. The park was wonderful, with cute Prague dogs everywhere, wild horses and bison right next to or on the road. Of course the landscape and the history behind it is the main show, and so different from the rolling plains of the rest of North Dakota it was extremely interesting and enjoyable.

Thank JoeJD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2012

We didn't have a lot of time, only a half-day, so we took the 36-mile scenic loop drive, and one short walk. We wondered why the ranger told us, when we entered the park, that the drive would take us 1 1/2 to 2 hours, but it's very scenic and, in our case, we were stopped for a while by a small herd of bison who decided to cross the road. All traffic stopped--and unfortunately for anyone on a schedule, so did the bison! They were on our right, our left, and directly in front, and they were bigger than our car, so we stayed put!
And we saw two groups of wild horses by the side of the road, two different areas of the park.
I also recommend stopping at the Painted Canyon Lookout at the east end of the south unit--especially in the mid-morning, when the colours are quite distinct.
I confess I had had no idea how much of an impact this part of North Dakota had on the development of Roosevelt's philosophy of life, or his determination to protect the environment and its wildlife. This site is a "must see".

1  Thank BluesInTO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2012

We enjoyed the buffaloes and prairie dogs. There was a wild horse in with the first group of buffaloes. We were there late in the afternoon. I'm not sure whether the buffaloes would be as visable earlier in the day. We looked for rams on the sides of the mountains but didn't see any.

Thank molly30087
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 22, 2012

This NP was good, but a little bit of a letdown. We expected a bit more in the way of colorful formations. It was interesting to hear the stories behind TR spending so much time here and how it influenced his life. The scenery was good... but we thought it might be a little more stunning.

Thank Dand978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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