Theodore Roosevelt National Park makes a nice stop heading to or from Glacier National Park from the east. It’s a full day’s drive from the eastern border of North Dakota and another full day’s drive from there to the Glacier area.
The South Unit has a scenic drive with some good very short hikes. Leg stretchers really. It also has some long hikes though none sounded enticing. If you don’t have time to visit the park, there’s a visitor center right off I-94 with good views and a couple of hikes. We also stopped at the North Unit on our way home from Glacier.
From the Wind Canyon trail there’s a good overlook of a narrow valley and the Little Missouri River.
There are also some interesting rock formations that just beg for you to play on them. Here we are posing with rocks in Theodore Roosevelt National Park on the left, and at Badlands National Park on the right.
Trees have a tough time in the badlands. Here’s one growing in a cliff, a downed tree with roots full of rocks, and a photogenic twisted tree.
The Coal Vein trail and Buck Hill are two other good places to get off the road and look around. Neither is very difficult. Buck Hill is steep but short.
We saw prairie dogs, wild horses, pronghorns, and bison. Including a dead bison. (You can zoom the photos to see the animals better.)
There were lots of interesting rock textures, colors, and formations. If you can only visit one area of badlands, though, Badlands National Park is more dramatic.