RV Destinations: The Badlands
The Badlands, located in North Dakota, earned their name since they were carved out by the river and wind. Within the Badlands is Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which is made up of three parts: the North Unit, the South Unit, and the Elkhorn Ranch. President Roosevelt built a home in the Badlands for hunting in the 1883. He said, "I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota." The President put in place a conservation program to help protect the lands of North Dakota.
In 1947, President Truman named this area the Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park, but after boundary changes in 1978, the park’s name changed to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Several wonderful campgrounds in this area include Cottonwood Campground and Juniper Campground. These sites do not require reservations unless you require a group site. The national park also offers Roundup Group Horse Campground, which does requires a reservation. There is also an opportunity to go back-country camping (camping not in a designated campsite), but you first need to obtain a free permit from the visitor center.
Besides camping, there are multiple other attractions to keep you busy in the Badlands:
- Bully Pulpit Golf Course
- Theodore Roosevelt’s Ranches, Maltese Cross and Elkhorn Ranch. The Maltese Cross was President Roosevelt’s first home in the Dakota area. Today the cabin is on display with many of President Roosevelt’s personal items still present. Elkhorn Ranch is the second home President Roosevelt had build in North Dakota. Although this cabin no longer stands, there is an opportunity to learn more about it at its site.
- Visitor Centers:
- The South Unit Visitors Center has many attractions including a movie, museum, and information desk.
- Painted Canyon Visitor Center houses the Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Association Bookstore.
- Medora Musical- with performances throughout the summer, this show highlights President Roosevelt’s time in the Badlands.
- Ranger Programs
- The ranger talks about a different topic every day.
- Take a guided tour with the ranger and learn about wildlife and history of the park.
- Ranger hikes- visit remote areas of the park with the ranger.
- Guided horseback rides- you can see more by taking a horse tour, most of the Badlands are not drivable and are too far to walk, so a horse is the perfect solution.
Before heading out on your next trip to the Badlands or elsewhere, be sure you have the right RV insurance. Explorer RV offers Specialty RV insurance. Protecting your RV. Protecting your memories.