In And Around Medora

Badlands, North Dakota
If you're headed for the Badlands, the area around Medora offers spectacular wilderness sights, and an up-close look at previous local residents dating from the age of the dinosaurs through the exploits of the Roughriders.
Medora Attractions

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The Medora Visitor Center is the south entrance to more than 70,000 acres of wilderness known as Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The area is a fitting memorial to the president who founded the U.S. Forest Service, signed the National Monuments Act and established the first federal game preserve. The park attracts thousands every year to wander the endless hiking and horseback-riding trails that wind through the Badlands.

Theodore Roosevelt Cabin

The Theodore Roosevelt Maltese Cross Ranch Cabin stands near the entrance to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. This is the original cabin from the first ranch that Theodore Roosevelt owned in North Dakota. National Park rangers give tours throughout the day.

Chateau de Mores

The 26-room Chateau was once home to the cattle baron Marquis de Mores and his wife, Medora, for whom the town is named. The estate demonstrates the dichotomy of an aristocratic lifestyle in a harsh and rugged land during the late 19th century.

The Chateau is also the starting point for the Overland Stage Line, a summer stagecoach ride to the historic town of Deadwood along the Overland Trail.

Badlands Museum

Downtown Medora is
home to a Badlands
The Museum of the Badlands preserves artifacts of life in the Old West. Prairie animals, Indian artifacts and a host of priceless mementos featuring the natural history of the Badlands are displayed in the museum.
Just Outside Medora

Dakota Dinosaur Museum

The rich dinosaur fossil deposits of the Badlands inspired creation of the Dakota Dinosaur Museum in Dickinson, North Dakota. The museum houses several thousand rock, mineral and fossil specimens uncovered in the area, including recreations of dinosaur skeletons. New exhibits include a velociraptor sculpture and two aber tooth cat skulls.

Roughrider Days

Held in honor of the rugged spirit of Roosevelt's band of horse-riding war heroes, Dickinson's Roughrider Days 2000 is a celebration of western life. The five-day festival features tractor-pulls, country music concerts and rodeo competitions. Events begin June 30 and finish with a grand fireworks display on the 4th of July.

The Lewis and Clark Wagon Train

Be a part of the Lewis and Clark Wagon Train and relive the experience of the first western settlers on this five-day excursion. The journey begins in Mandan, North Dakota, just outside Bismarck. Camp breaks every morning at 8 a.m. as the line of horse-drawn wagons rides along the banks of the Missouri River.

The trail runs adjacent to the place where General George Custer was stationed before riding off to the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The tour ends 35 miles later at a reconstruction of Lewis & Clark's 1804-1805 winter quarters in Fort Mandan.

Outdoor Activities


Western North Dakota is home to many rivers, lakes and streams that are perfect for leisure canoeing. Birdwoman River Adventures offers
guided canoe trips down the Missouri and Little Missouri River. Area maps are available through the North Dakota offices of the U.S. Forest Service.


Southwest North Dakota is full of fish, with a variety to try your luck at. Many of the lakes and dams have been carefully cultivated by the North Dakota Game & Fish agency to provide fishermen an optimum catch.


Day hiking and backpacking are popular in the wildlife-rich North Dakota Badlands. Maps of backcountry trails around Medora are available through the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The U.S. Forest Service (see hiking) has hiking maps of the scenic Little Missouri National Grasslands and other regional wilderness areas.

For more attractions and activities in Medora, see the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.

For more things to do and see in the Badlands, check with the North Dakota Department of Tourism.