Stop #14: Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt National Park is situated in western North Dakota. It is a habitat for wild horses, elk, bison and prairie dogs. The 3 park sections are linked by the Little Missouri River.

The reason we went to North Dakota was to see Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The park consists of a north and south unit, and a ranch unit where Roosevelt stayed while in the west.

We only visited the south unit because we didn’t have time for the rest. But even in the South Unit a section of the road was closed. But what we did get to see was really cool. Soon after entering the park we were able to see wild horses! This was part of the reason we came to the national park, because wild horses are their signature thing. In fact, Theodore Roosevelt himself described them, saying that they were “As wild as the antelope”.

This national park is one if the few remaining places in The United States where wild horses still roam. The horses we saw were grazing right along the road. There were about 10 of them, and they ranged in colors from pale gray to rich brown. We watched them until they left, and drove to Wind Canyon.

During the drive we saw some bisons, and on was right close to the side of the On the way there we made some stops to look at the rock formations. About 60 million years ago, waterways carried sediments from the rocky mountains and left it along the great plains. Wind, rain, and running water made those sediments into the rock formations we see today.

In Wind Canyon we took a small hike. To picture the scenery imagine a canyon with rock mountains all around. Now put grass on the ground and on the tops of the mountains. At the bottom of the canyon runs the Missouri river. And Viola! You just re-created the scenic views of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

On the hike we saw a Lazuli Bunting! Lazuli Bunting males have blue heads and backs, and a white belly with a rusty red breast. They live in the west of the US, but human activities have been declining their population. After the hike it started getting late, so we decided to head to our hotel. But as we were driving, we saw a coyote walking around the mountains. It was amazing!

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