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“Best Kept Secret in the National Park System”
Review of South Unit

South Unit
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Attraction details
Owner description: Popular area of the park for hiking and horseback riding.
Reviewed February 18, 2014

Stopped by here over Labor Day weekend to do some hiking. This park is amazing. The Painted Canyon hike on the way in is very easy hike and teases you with things you'll see later. We drive the loop road in the afternoon. Plenty of wildlife--wild horses, bison, and of course the pairie dogs. Did short walks on the Ridgeline Trail and Wind Canyon Trail--wind canyon provided spectacular views of the formations caused by wind and water erosion. Very easy hiking for families, very uncrowded. And always a lot of fun watching the prairie dogs at the various prairie dog towns.

2  Thank NoVaEmptyNesters
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"
in 5 reviews
"scenic drive"
in 10 reviews
"take pictures"
in 6 reviews
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Reviewed January 3, 2014

loved north Dakota such unique formations to the mountains lots of buffalo like in the north unit. much bigger loop to drive around

Thank 50statetraveler2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013

My 80 yr old dad has on his Bucket List, among other things, to visit all 50 states. He lacked Vermont and North Dakota. In researching what there actually might be to see in North Dakota that would be easy enough to get to by driving from his home in Colorado, I came across TRNP. Reading the reviews, I thought it might be more interesting than taking him on a hike up White Butte (highest point in ND) even though White Butte would be closer. We are both glad that this National Park won out! Wow! No crowds, plenty of wildlife, Ranger night programs, great sunsets and lovely western scenery. We only visited the South Unit and hope to go back one day to visit the North. The Visitor Center with the Teddy Roosevelt museum was informative and helpful in choosing what we actually had time to do. We took the scenic drive twice as I wanted photos of bison as up close and personal as my camera and safety rules would allow. Also attended a Ranger astronomy event but learned that neither dad nor myself can locate the telescope's eyepieces in the dark without touching them first and then not being really sure if what we are seeing is what we are supposed to be seeing! (It's the pits getting old, but, considering the alternative...) We did learn from one of the attendees that there are mobile apps, Star Chart being one, that you download on your phone and can then point up at the night sky and it will show you what you are looking at. Also, a ranger turned us on to a green laser pointer that can be used to isolate an object in the night sky so you and your partner can be on the same page when it comes to 'are you seeing what I'm seeing' etc. Dad has now decided on a new hobby, Star Gazing. I've decided on Wildlife Photography. All thanks to TRNP. Just goes to show that you are never to old to try or learn new things!

7  Thank Sharolyn L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2013

Was very pleasantly surprised at how gorgeous this park is. We saw herds of wild horses, hundreds of prairie dogs (too adorable for words) and bison. Not crowded at all. Would strongly encourage anyone going near that area to go see it. Unforgettable.

Thank LKF14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 22, 2013

This is an amazing place. We were surprised to see so few visitors at this world class attraction - especially considering how accessible it is. It is very easy to get to from the Interstate in the little town of Medora.

The landscapes are beautiful and other worldly. The driving tour of the park is fabulous and easy to navigate. Wildlife along the way includes bison, wild horses, prairie dogs and an assortment of birds. Some areas have a real wild west feel and the history of the area is fascinating.

There is no reason this area shouldn't be as popular as South Dakota's Mount Rushmore.

Thank 5DandD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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