Corbitt's National Parks
     Theodore Roosevelt
               National Park


1947: National Memorial Park

1978: National Park

Size: 70,447 acres

2008 visitors: 516,804

Stamp: ?

Rating (1-5): Unrated

About the Site

It was 1883 when Theodore Roosevelt first came to the Dakota Territory, to hunt bison. Before he returned home to New York, he became interested in the cattle business, and invested in the Maltese Cross Ranch with other partners. He returned in 1884 to the badlands and started a seconde open-range ranch, the Elkhorn. During these years, Roosevelt witnessed first-hand the decline in wildlife and the destruction of the grasslands because of overgrazing. This spurred him to become an avid conservationalist. Theodore Roosevelt eventually established the U.S. Forest Service, signed into law five national parks, 18 national monuments, 150 national forests, 51 bird reserves, and four game preserves.

The 26th U.S. President is memorialized in this National Park for his enduring contributions to conservation. The colorful North Dakota badlands provide a scenic backdrop as the Little Missouri River winds through the park. He said that he never would have become President if it wasn't for the time he spent in North Dakota.

What You're Going to See

The 70,000+ acres here offer much for the traveler. Spectacular scenery of the badlands has enchanted for over a hundred years. There are two units that comprise the Park, the North and the South, approximately 30 miles apart. Each unit has a visitors center with orientation films, nature trails, ranger-led programs and special events.

There are plenty of other things to do, in this Park devoted to the causes of conservation: visitors can tour by auto, bird-watch, canue, hike, ride horseback, picnic, ski, tour the Maltese Cross cabin, and view the wildlife that include bison, prairie dogs, and elk. Rangers offer talks, evening campfire programs, nature walks and hikes, and cultural demonstrations in the summer.

Personal Observations

Someday, I'll see this Park ...

Getting There

South Unit: From Bismarck, take I-94 west for 123 miles. The Park is on the north side of the freeway.

North Unit: From Bismarck, take I-94 west for 117 miles. Go north on US 85 for 66 miles; the Park is on the west side of the highway.

Nearby Attractions

Fort Union Trading Post National Historical Site is about 30 miles northwest of the North Unit. Knife River Indian Villages National Historical Site is about 80 miles east of the Park.

Not visited yet.