September North & South Dakota 4 Day Road Trip Itinerary

A 4 day itinerary from North Dakota to South Dakota filled with National Parks and outdoor adventure.

In September of 2022, we hit the road on a birthday trip for our kids. We had a goal of hitting at least two National Parks on our road trip to North and South Dakota. It was going to be tight, but Sandy (11), Killian(2), Scott and I were on a mission to get it done.

Why September?

We chose late September for a few reasons. First, it’s right between our kids’ birthdays, so it’s a dual birthday trip. Second, the summer crowds are winding down, parks are more enjoyable with fewer people. Third, the elk rut would be starting, increasing our chance of elk activity. Finally, the temperatures would be reasonable. I do love all of the summer activities that the Midwest offers, but I am a cold weather person. Camping and travel is most enjoyable without the salty sweat brought on by intense temperatures.

Day 1

The Pathfinder fully loaded with camping gear, we hit the road from our small Minnesota town on a Thursday morning in late September. We were in Fargo by noon. It’s amazing to see how the landscape changes from central Minnesota to Fargo, North Dakota. The hills flatten, trees become more sparse, and the distance that can be seen grows.

Worlds largest bison

It’s about an eight hour drive from our home to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. A great pitstop along the way is at the “World’s Largest Buffalo Monument” in Jamestown, ND. The perfect place to stretch legs and learn a bit more about bison. This attraction is conveniently located just off of interstate 94. There are several restaurants and gas stations to choose from, refuel the vehicle and the kids.

First Destination: Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Our arrival at Theodore Roosevelt National Park was just before dark. As we entered the park, a lone bison roamed the hillside. It was quite a welcome and great first impression of the park. The Cottonwood Campground was a short drive into the park on the left hand side of the road.

The campground has a simple loop drive and finding our site was a snap. After setting up our tent and making sure our site was set for the evening, we headed back to Medora in search of firewood. We found some at a local gas station/convenience store.

Night one was a s’mores night. Camping isn’t complete without the sweet smell of burning sugar. After a game of cards and a story from Sandy out of her new National Parks book, it was lights out for rest before a busy day.

Day 2


Be warned; that sunrise will make your heart skip a beat. It’s just stunning the way it sneaks up the ridge and shines down on the valley in which the campground is situated. An amazing start to the day and the perfect setting to get a scrumptious breakfast of hot cocoa and country omelet sausages going.

Morning Wildlife on the Scenic Drive

If you’re goal is to see wildlife at TRNP, morning is your best bet. We witnessed the most activity during the early hours. Wild horses and bison littered the scenic drive. It’s amazing how undisturbed these creature are by the presence of visitor vehicles. The road was under construction while we were visiting, so we weren’t able to see the entire park, but we did see a great deal of it. I guess that means, we get to go back.

Hiking & Overlooks

There are numerous hiking trails, both long and short, that begin at different locations on the scenic drive. We stuck to shorter trails and overlooks. With our little hikers along, it was best to have frequent stops with shorter distance and more free exploring. These Short Hikes and Overlooks in Theodore Roosevelt National Park were the best.

North Unit Exploration

After we cruised the portions of the South Unit scenic drive that we could, we headed to the North Unit. It’s an hour drive along 85. Most visitors to TRNP stick to the South Unit. We wanted to see more than just the South, I would absolutely say that it was worth the drive to the North Unit. There we were able to see a more rugged landscape and more geological features that are missing in the South Unit. One of the kids’ favorite spots in the park was at the North Unit, the Cannonball Concretions. More details on it here.

Dinner & Tenting

After we explored the day away in both the South and North units, we found a great place for dinner. The Little Missouri Saloon and Dining Room has amazing food. We devoured our elk burger and bison steaks with a ravenous appetite. I highly recommend this restaurant for anyone visiting Medora. The ground floor has a saloon/bar and grill feel to it while the dining area on the upper floor hosts a more family friendly atmosphere. For fine weather dining, the balcony is also an option.

On night 2 of our stay in TRNP, the elk graced our ears with their calls. It was so majestic and peaceful. The best part, we were listening to them sound after the kids fell asleep. It was accompanied by an owl’s hoot. One of the best outdoor evening experiences so far. Our experience Tenting in TRNP was one for the books, a great first step into camping at National Parks.

Day 3

TRNP Visitor’s Center & Teddy’s Cabin

This is a stop that can’t be missed. We started our morning out by eating a quick breakfast, packing up camp and heading to the Visitor’s Center at the Park Entrance. Inside, there is a film that plays with great information on our incredible conservationist president, Theodore Roosevelt (my favorite president). There are a number of Native American artifacts, Teddy relics, and animal remains to learn about in the center. The greatest part of this area is Teddy’s cabin, the Maltese Cross Cabin, which has been relocated to the backyard of the Visitor’s Center.

It was inspiring to stand where he stood, see what he saw and know that this land is what drove him to protect much of America’s wild lands. He will always be my favorite president for the work he did for our natural world.


Medora is a petite town sitting at the entrance to TRNP South Unit with gift shops, steakhouses and cafes. For breakfast, we stopped in at the Cowboy Café. This was not a fancy joint by any means, but a very homey, welcoming homestyle café with classic American style breakfast.

So many little shops sit in Medora, some had closed for the season already. We were prepared for that being that our stay was late in the season. Even so, we had plenty to see and do for a morning. Sandy and Killian were most intrigued by the multiple candy stores, a fun stop! The kids were able to find a couple of souvenirs at the shops. The Visitor’s Center at the NP had a few items, but the Medora shops had a plethora of knickknacks to choose from.

Dakota Steakhouse

With our Teddy Roosevelt and Medora adventure wrapped up, it was time to hit the road again for our next stop; Rapid City, South Dakota. The four hour drive to Rapid City seemed like a piece of cake after the 9 hours from home to Medora. To pass the time, Killian napped and Sandy wrote a post card to a friend back home.

During our drive, Killian suddenly needed to potty, NOW. We were near a little town and were trying to find a place to have him potty. Ultimately, we pulled over and he peed in the grass by a baseball field. A parent has to do what a parent has to do.

When we finally reached Rapid City, it was time for a refuel. Refueling people that is. We had a restaurant in mind that was due for a revisit, we enjoyed it so much the last time were in Rapid City. Dakota Steakhouse. The bison steak is one of the best steaks that I have had, ever. Even the kids menu items are fantastic. Sandy ordered grilled cheese and it came out looking like a gourmet meal. The Dakota Steakhouse has landed itself a permanent spot on our list places to dine when we’re in the area.

Rapid City Water Park

Of course, a birthday trip for Sandy must include a water feature. She is basically a fish. We had a one night stay at the Watiki Waterpark. The kids had a blast running around this aquatic playground. After hours of soaking fun, we cleaned up and got into jammies. That didn’t mean bedtime just yet. We went to the arcade on the second level overlooking the water park and played games late at night, jammies and all. Killian loved playing the pirate ship game and driving a little car.

After two nights of camping, it was refreshing to be clean and in an actual bed. The kids slept hard after all of their adventures. It was a night of much needed rest. They were going to need it for their next day of exploration.

Day 4

We packed a lot into our final day in the Dakotas. It was our last push to get as much adventure in as we could!

Dino Park

Early in the morning, we set out to find the Dino Park. It was in an unexpected area and when we arrived the gift shop wasn’t quite open yet. We walked up the steep path and steps to the dinosaurs. Killian had an obsession with the prehistoric beasts at the time and was amazed by their size. He and Sandy crawled around on their tails and feet. They had a great time. The statues are a bit dated and need some love, but this was a fun attraction for the little guy. We headed to the gift shop for some South Dakota souvenirs and Killian rode the miniature ride at the front door. It was still somewhat functional.

Wind Cave National Park

With the Dino Park excursion out of the way, it was time to head south to Wind Cave National Park. Cruising down Hwy 79, we passed exits for Mount Rushmore and Custer. Both amazing stops if you haven’t been. Though Custer is absolutely a must if you haven’t been. Custer is more than just a stop, you’ll need a good chunk of time or a night for camping.

The drive into Wind Cave is so neat. Right off the bat, we drove up to a prairie dog village, they were chatty and entertaining as they scurried about. After taking time to enjoy them, it was off to the visitor’s center. We checked in for our cave tour and still have time to kill, so we went off for a hike on Rankin Ridge. I highly recommend this hike that takes visitors to the highest point in the park. There are numerous other stops along the way.

One cannot visit Wind Cave without a cave tour. We went on the Garden of Eden tour, this was the perfect duration and distance for a 2 and 11 year old. There are stairs, guard rails and lights throughout. Sandy thought this was a pretty neat experience. More on things to do at Wind Cave here.

Backroad Adventure to Nowhere

After our adventure in Wind Cave, the plan was to make our way home with a pitstop at Badlands National Park. It was my turn to drive and I punched in Badlands into the trusty GPS to get me there. DON’T DO THAT! Check your route before you take off. I thought that the GPS was taking me onto the main roads and we’d pull off of Interstate 90 at the main entrance of the park. Nope!

We followed the GPS onto a turn that seemed a bit too early but we were in an unfamiliar area so we went with it. At first I was thinking that maybe it had found a shorter route, no. No, it did not. When the roads turned to gravel is when we knew we should have turned back. It was too late, we had already gone too far. So the dirt road is what we followed. We saw a total of 2 trucks in about 2 hours.

The fuel tank was running low, very low. The concern was starting to run high, and there was no cell service. After a time, about when we were on E, we happened upon a ghost town with a functional fuel pump. It took a few tries to get the card reader to work, we were able to get it to work and added a few gallons. The shack next to the pump was closed. There was a handful of other buildings scattered about, they looked like they were all about 100 years old and on their last legs.

While I was filling the tank we noticed some scurrying nearby. It was cats. There were NO people in sight, just cats. They didn’t come close, but watched us. Scott and Sandy decided to toss some left over chicken strips to them. The cats snatched up the scraps and took off. This was the most bizarre “town” I have ever encountered. An experience for sure.

Oh my goodness. We made it! We ended up at the White River Ranger Station, this is NOT the entrance you want. We had to drive a long way yet before we got to the other side of the park, which was our original goal. And the White River Ranger Station was closed upon our arrival.

If using a GPS, make sure the route goes along the I-90, otherwise you’ll be in for a wild, dirt road ride. We should have entered in the Pinnacles Entrance Station or the Northwest Entrance Station, not the White River Ranger Station.

Badlands Pitstop

Killian had fallen asleep, so Sandy and I explored a bit while Scott waited with the napper. After he woke up, we explored all together. We didn’t have much time before dark, but we did have some time to explore some of the park. It was beautiful! The pastel skies and vast landscapes are immaculate! Photos don’t do it justice, it must be seen with your own eyes.

Going Home

As the sun set and it was time to load up, we said goodbye to the Badlands. On the road once more, we drove until we were tired and found a hotel when we wanted to stop. We call this method “Motel 6ing It.” We don’t usually stay at a Motel 6 but that’s how the original method started.

Every place we visited (except the backroads of South Dakota) is worth another visit. Every place we saw was beautiful and grand. I would do this trip all over again if given the chance. On small change… don’t trust the GPS on South Dakota backroads.

Dogs at Mammoth Cave National Park

Dogs love adventures, too! Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the few National Parks that are dog Friendly. Take advantage of this opportunity to adventure with your dogs and visit Mammoth Cave. Know where to go and what you can do at Mammoth Cave with your pup.

**This post does not pertain to service animals.

Climate Considerations

Being a southern state, Kentucky has some higher temperatures during the summer months. Check the forecast before your excursion to ensure that you are prepared for both yourself and your adventure dog. Even in late September, when temperatures are dropping in my home state of Minnesota, the temperatures in Kentucky were in the upper 70’s and 80’s.

Water: Keep water available for your adventure dog while at camp. Offer it frequently while out hiking to keep that pup hydrated. Be sure that your pup is drinking clean water. Reduce the risk of parasites by keeping your dog from drinking river water.

If the heat is excessive, try these short trails with your pup. See Short Hikes at Mammoth Cave.


All of Mammoth Cave’s above ground hiking trails are open to dogs. That’s pretty amazing considering most National Parks do not allow dogs. Keep Mammoth Cave NP dog friendly by following basic Trail Etiquette for Adventure Dogs.

Horse Trails: Mammoth Cave has many trails that are horse friendly. When encountering a horse on trail, step aside and keep you dogs calm as the riders pass.

Bag It: Clean up after your pet immediately and dispose of waste in a trash can asap. There are many throughout the park. Don’t leave the bagged waste on the side of the trail to pick up on your return. The presence of a bagged poo will tamper someone else’s trail experience.


Dogs are not allowed in the cave systems. They may cause damage to the cave and there are areas that dogs simply wouldn’t appreciate in the caves, such as grates, slick areas, and tight dark spaces.

For other caving options one might give Hidden River Cave a try.


Kentucky has a large number of ticks. It’s a good idea to visit your veterinarian before your excursion to Mammoth Cave to evaluation which tick prevention is right for your dog. See Tips for Ticks: Adventure Dog Safety for more info on tick prevention. Remember to visibly check yourself and you dog frequently during and after a hike in the woods.

Kentucky Ticks:

  • Lone Star Tick
  • American Dog Tick
  • Black Legged Tick (deer tick)


Wildlife is abundant in Mammoth Cave National Park. A scurrying squirrel or bounding deer is pretty enticing for our canine companions. Keep you pup on leash and do you best to keep them from barking at and disturbing wildlife.

Wildlife in Mammoth Cave:

  • Black Bear
  • Deer
  • Turtles
  • Squirrels
  • Turkey
  • Bats
  • Coyote
  • Frogs & Salamanders
  • Venomous Snakes

Tip: Keep treats handy in a treat pouch to distract dogs from wildlife. Offering a treat for a successful “Leave It” cue or simply diverting their attention away with a lure is effective in keeping that prey drive in check.

Venomous Snakes: Mammoth Cave is home to the Timber Rattlesnake and the Eastern Copperhead. Keeping dogs on leash will help keep them from stumbling upon or disturbing animals that may cause them harm. Teaching a strong “Leave It” command is important for adventure dogs in any environment.

The snake above is a non-venomous water snake slinking around Sloan’s Pond.


While dogs are allowed on park trails and in campgrounds, dogs are not allowed in any park buildings. The visitor’s center is a really neat spot in the park to visit, but you may have to take turns venturing inside while one person waits outside with the pup. Alternatively, there is short-term boarding available.


Adventure dogs are welcome in all of the campgrounds, backcountry camping, and at the Woodland Cottages. The Woodland Cottages are the only lodging accommodations in the park that allow dogs. They are not allowed in the Sunset Terrace rooms or the Historic Cottages.


The Lodge at Mammoth Cave offers a small boarding kennel for hourly use. The kennel spaces are outdoors with some shade. The fencing is chain link. These kennels are a nice option for those wishing to attend a cave tour, where dogs are not allowed.

Be Aware: This is NOT an overnight boarding area. This is a day use kennel rented by the hour, only during daylight hours.

Rates: $3.50 First hour, +$1 per hour after

What to bring:

  • Water Dish (spigot nearby)
  • Toy/Chews
  • Lock (limited locks available for rent)
  • Collar with Tags (Dogs should always have identification on them)
  • Vaccination Records Required (Rabies, Bordetella, DAP Shots)

Do not leave your dog unattended inside or out at the park. Do not leave dogs in you vehicle.

Backcountry Pancake Lesson

Who doesn’t love a good pancake on a cool camp morning. It’s the perfect meal to begin teaching young campers how to be a camp chef. Check out these tips on camp pancake making.

One of the best parts of camping is teaching my kids about camping and camp skills. On this years birthday trip to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, my daughter, Sandy, learned how to make Backcountry Pancakes.

It was brought to my attention while we were driving out to the NP that she was missing apple cinnamon pancake day in Home Ec. class. No worries! I assured her that she most certainly would not miss pancake day. No losing participation points here! The perfect opportunity to teach an important camping skill.

On our first camp breakfast of the trip, we had a pancake lesson. Sandy learned how to mix pancakes in a bag, start the camp stove, grease the pan, and fry up some flapjacks.

1. Prep

I like to keep things as simple as I can with as few dishes as possible while camp cooking. The easiest way to prep pancakes before camping is to measure out as much pancake mix as your party will eat in a meal into a ziplock bag. Write on the bag with permanent marker how much water is needed per your pancake serving amount. Example: Kodiak Pancake Mix (our favorite) takes 3/4 cup water per 1 cup of mix. This feeds our family of 4.

2. Gather Cooking Items

You’ll need a few items to successfully make pancakes at camp. Your kids can help gather materials, a good job for younger campers.

  • Camp Stove
  • Fuel
  • Lighter (if stove is not equipped with an igniter)
  • Coconut Oil
  • Pancake Mix
  • Rubber scraper or spatula
  • Plate & Spork
  • Soap & Sponge
  • Clean Water

3. Mix Pancakes

Pour clean water into the bag of mix a small amount at a time. Adding all of the water at once may result in runny batter. This will turn your pancakes into crepes. It’s not as appealing as it sounds, it’s a mess, trust me. Mixing the batter in the bag eliminates a dish and offers an easy squeeze method in placing the batter in the pan.

When the batter is mixed to your preferred consistency, cut a small slit in the bottom corner of the bag. Set aside with the slit corner up to prevent leakage.

4. Light’m Up

This was Sandy’s first time starting the camp stove. She wasn’t completely new as she knows how to ignite the gas stove at home. We talked about safety and order of operations per our stove mechanics before lighting it. If you’re teaching a new camp chef, be sure to give safe, clear instructions on how to operate your stove. (Her angle is goofy in the photo, but she did well.)

Once the stove is lit, place the pan over the burner with a slice of coconut oil.

5. Frying Flapjacks

As soon as the oil is melted in the pan, add the pancake batter. Use the easy squeeze bag and make a circle of batter in the pan. Watch the cake carefully and adjust fuel flowage as needed. When the bubbles begin to rise to the top of the pancake, it’s time to flip. Use the rubber scraper to loosen the cake from the pan and flip the cake. It won’t take long for the other side to cook, so keep an eye on it.

Apply some sweet syrup and dig in!

Slick Tip: It’s a really good idea to reapply coconut oil between each pancake. When I don’t reapply, my cakes stick to the pan.

6. Clean Up

After enjoying some delicious flapjacks, use warm water, soap and a sponge to wash dishes. If the kids are old enough to learn how to make camp pancakes, they’re old enough to clean up camp breakfast. Put those hands to work!

Tip: We cut a standard sponge into thirds to make them camp sized.

Overall, Sandy’s pancake lesson went well. A couple “hey, don’t touch the pan, it’s hot” moments, but otherwise she did great! Looks like some of the camp work load is off of my shoulders.

Finding Johnson Falls: A BWCA Adventure

Drive, paddle, portage, then hike, in that order, to Johnson Falls for a wildly freeing experience in the BWCA. Johnson Falls is an incredible addition to the wilderness experience that the BWCA offers.

Drive, paddle, portage, then hike, in that order, to Johnson Falls for a wildly freeing experience in the BWCA. Johnson Falls is an incredible addition to the wilderness experience that the BWCA offers. I love chasing waterfalls, but the added thrill to this falls is that there are no guard rails, no boardwalks, no crowds. A good state park waterfall is wonderful, but Johnson Falls is still wild. That’s hard to find these days.

Quick Details

Location: BWCA, west side of Pine Lake

Distance: Variable depending on entry point

Level: Strenuous

Time to go: Late May- September

Dog-friendly: Yes, adventure dogs in good condition.

Fees: BWCA Overnight Paddle Permit

Getting there

Transportation: A combination of vehicle, canoe, and on foot is necessary for this trek.

From East Bearskin: Paddle east from the entry point, portage to Alder (52 rods), then paddle to Canoe Lake portage (25 rods), paddle to Pine Lake portage, Portage to Pine (380 rods). The trail to the falls is at the end of portage to Pine Lake, it leads west along the shore and creek feeding into Pine.

From Clearwater: Paddle east from the entry point, portage to Caribou Lake (140 rods), paddle east to Pine Lake, portage to Pine (76 rods). Paddle across the short distance to the south side of the lake. Canoes may be stowed at the Portage to canoe lake or at a small canoe landing to the west of the portage. Both spots have ample space for canoes. Follow the trail leading west along the creek to the falls.

From Pine: Paddle to the western shore of McFarlane Lake, portage 8 rods to Pine Lake, paddle the long distance to the western edge of Pine Lake. Canoes may be stowed at the portage to Canoe Lake or at a small canoe landing to the west of the portage. Both spots have ample space for canoes. Follow the trail leading west along the creek to the falls.

Hiking to Johnson Falls

A canoe will only bring explorers so far in their quest to find Johnson Falls. On foot is the only way to finish the journey. The trail to Johnson Falls begins at the Pine Lake to Canoe Lake portage, on the Pine Lake side. The trail goes west along the creek. The terrain is rough, and filled with rocks, roots, fallen tree and debris. Be ready to climb over logs and watch your ankles over those gnarly root systems.

Wildlife on Trail: Watch for wildlife sign. Moose, bobcat, beaver, bear, etc.. leave tracks along the way. There are some areas with thicker mud, these are prime locations to see who has been trapsing about on the Johnson Falls trail. We found the most adorable bobcat track and a whopper of a moose track.

What to bring

It’s always a good idea to have a daypack when going off on an excursion in the wilderness. Here are some suggested items to be sure to have along for a trip to Johnson Falls.

  • Good quality hiking shoes.
  • Map
  • Bug spray- seriously, they’re relentless.
  • Water & filter or water purifying tablets.
  • Rain Gear- watch the weather and be prepared.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Swim suit, towel, lifejacket.
  • Fishing gear.
  • Camera!


Yes, you can swim in the waterfall! Being that the falls lies in the midst of the BWCA wilderness, there is significantly more freedom to explore than in state parks or more heavily trafficked/managed areas. On the flip side of the coin, swim at your own risk. There are no lifeguards, no cell service, no help for miles and hours. Be smart, make well thought out choices. Bring a life vest for kids or those who aren’t’ strong swimmers.


My husband, Scott, thought he’d give fishing a try at the falls. We’re so glad he did. He caught a few bass in the pool at the falls, making the journey quite memorable for him. The pool beneath the falls was both wide enough and deep enough to accommodate swimming and fishing at the same time. Our daughter spotted a large unknown fish while exploring the pools edge. Scott wasn’t lucky enough to catch the monster, but we know he’s in there.

Bonus Fishing Spot: Cast your line out from the Pine Lake Portage, multiple fish were caught here while waiting for shorter legs to catch up.

S’mores Mash Up Ideas

Happy National Smores Day! Set that campfire ablaze and get toasting! Check out these ideas to mix up your S’more recipe and find your new favorite s’more.

The s’mores is an iconic summer campfire treat! Dress it up, deconstruct it, make a mess! Change the mallow, change the chocolate, change the graham! Mix it up, try new things. Eventually you’ll find the perfect way to smash your s’more.

S’more Facts

Did you know that National S’mores Day is on August 10th every year? What a great holiday! We celebrate with a campfire and s’mores, of course. Here are some fun S’more facts to get you fired up for s’more day.

Dressed-Up the Middle

Classic: Hershey’s has been the classic S’mores chocolate since the beginning of s’mores. With all of the different brands of chocolate out there, it’s time to dress her up! Try Cadbury, Ghirardelli, Lindt, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, whatever your chocolate loving heart desires!

Caramel: This is a real game changer. That fire melted s’more will turn a Ghirardelli salted caramel square into a dripping, mouthwatering morsel. Cadbury Caramello’s are just as delicious and work well for adjusting the amount of caramel in your s’more, Ghirardelli makes a square that is conveniently the same size as a graham cracker square.

Mint: Cool down the summer with a cool Andies Mint s’more. Line up three or more mints on a graham cracker for a bite of fire and ice.

Reece’s: For the PB lovers out there, here is the perfect mix of chocolate and peanut butter on a summer’s evening. The classic peanut butter cups fit perfectly on a s’more.

Fruit Filling: Add in sliced strawberries or raspberries for a fruitful twist. If fresh fruit isn’t available, bring out the fruit infused chocolates.

Mallow Mash-Up

Mallow Toasters don’t have to stick with the same plane mallow summer after summer. The number of gourmet marshmallow companies that have popped up in recent years is insane. You can find them all over, we even purchased some new ones at our local ice cream shoppe. They can be found in the baking isle at Walmart, too. Try out different flavors, we’ve found a few that are great and pair well with different chocolates.

Salted Caramel: Pair with milk chocolate, caramel, or fruit.

Mint: Pair with Andie’s mints, dark or milk chocolate. Make the ultimate with chocolate grahams.

Vanilla Bean: Pair with fruit, caramel, or both.

Birthday Cake: Pair with white chocolate or fruit.

Chocolate: Triple chocolate s’more with milk or dark chocolate, and a chocolate graham cracker.

Unicorn Poop: Mix with anything, the kids will love the rainbow mallows!

Exterior Make-Over

Don’t just change up the filling, get really creative and ditch the classic graham cracker for something new.

Chocolate Graham: The extreme chocolate lover can appreciate this bite of this double chocolate creation.

Cinnamon Graham: A cinnamon graham cracker is the perfect addition to a fall bon fire s’more. Bring some apple cider to wash it down, yum!

S’moreo: A what? Yep! A S’moreo, forgo the graham altogether and replace it with an entire Oreo. Cookie madness!

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Now we’re getting ridiculous. Or are we? This gooey mess is even better if you place the cookies near the fire to warm up while toasting the mallow.

Stroopwafels: Chocolate or honey, these are a unique way to squish your mallow.

Highlights at Blue Mounds State Park

Get out to Blue Mounds this summer for an amazing variety of landscapes, bison, wildflowers, hiking, and even climbing! This park is a highlight in itself in South Western Minnesota.

A south western Minnesota gem! Blue Mounds holds adventure around every prairie covered corner. From cacti to bison, this park has everything one would expect in South Dakota, except the prairie dogs (we have pocket gophers instead).

Quick Review: 8/10 This park is great for a weekend of camping and hiking. Offering a variety of landscapes, wildlife and activities; this park has much to entertain.

Bison Range

The bison range begins immediately after entering the park. The viewing deck is on the right after the park office. The tipi and cart-in camping area is on the left. Check out the heard grazing and enjoying the sweet prairie grasses. The herd was sprinkled with babies.

The observation deck is complete with a set of high powered binoculars. We were able to see them even when they were far off and light was growing dim. Don’t mind the smokey photos, the Canadian fires didn’t help with visibility over the weekend.

Blue Mounds offers a 90 minutes bus tour through the bison range. This is available for ages 4 and up. The truck is open to the elements, so dress for the weather. No dogs allowed, we were unable to take the tour as we had a dog and 3 year old along.

Prices: Adult (13+): $10, Child (4-12): $6

Tickets: Can be purchased 15 minutes prior at the Park Office, Reservations are highly recommended but must still be picked up at the Park Office prior to the tour. Reservations can be made here.

For more bison exploration in Minnesota, check out Minneopa State Park.

Other wildlife: Bison aren’t the only animal to call this park home. Other critters are busy scurrying about as well. Pocket gophers and their holes are scattered throughout the park along with a number of birds, snakes and butterflies. Deer and coyotes reside in the park, but we were not privy to their whereabouts. We did find remains of something near the rock climbing areas.

Cacti & Wildflowers

Did you ever think you’d find a cactus in Minnesota? Well, they’re plentiful in Blue Mounds! Be careful, they are pokey! The wildflowers are breathtaking, especially blowing in a gentle summer breeze.

Eagle Rock

On the southern edge of the park, Eagle Rock overlooks the south end of the bison range. We enjoyed climbing up Eagle Rock and getting a grand view of this side of the park.

Eagle Rock Vista, near the southern parking area, is the highest point in the park. Watch for turkey vultures, we witnessed one resting on a rock on our way into the parking area. The old visitor’s center here is closed down and anticipating a renovation, but the trails surrounding it are still open.

Camp in a Tipi

Three tipis are available for campers to rent. Yes, you can actually sleep in a tipi!! How neat! They are not dog friendly, so we opted to reserve a tent campsite in the cart-in section of the camping area.

The floors are wooden and the walls, canvas. There are information sheets inside to educate campers on the traditions of tipis, how they are built, etc.. Some tipis were vacant, so we had a look around and were able to explore and experience the tipi set up without staying in one.

Camp Options

  • RV Campground
  • Cart-in Tent Sites
  • Tipi

Nature Play Area

I suppose a “Nature Play Area” is the best name for this area. A large rectangle filled with woodchips, big rocks and logs. At first glance, I thought it was quite lame. But the kids had a blast hopping around on the rocks and logs, playing hot lava. They spent a good 30 minutes playing on our first visit and another hour playing later in the day.

It’s something different, not the typical playground you’d see everywhere else. I think that’s what made this area so fun. A new way to play.

July fireflies

The summer months bring out the best on the prairie, including the fireflies! As the sun begins to set, watch the top of the prairie grasses. The fireflies begin to light up and dance around at dusk. The kids were mesmerized by these whimsical bugs, Sandy even caught a couple. She held them for a moment and let them go.


A feature that wasn’t on the map and was a delightful surprise. The dam is just across the road to the park office. There is a parking area near the campground with a trail that lead to the dam for a closer look. Some of the dam is fenced off, but there are some good vantage points around it.


Blue Mounds offers 13 miles of hiking trails, these 13 miles range in difficultly from easy to strenuous. Be sure to check the maps before taking off into the prairie. Check out 6 Hikes at Blue Mounds to pick a hike that fits your adventure.

Cliff Line Area/ Rock Climbing

Blue Mounds offers a designated rock climbing area on the eastern edge of the park. It’s a climb at your own risk situation and bring your own equipment. Climbers must obtain a permit prior to climbing in any Minnesota State Park. Climbing is dangerous, respect closure signs and hone in skills prior to climbing on your own.

Whether climbing or not the cliff line area is a site see! Check out this area to see dramatic landscapes and uniquely colored rocks.

Historic Quarry

This quarry of Sioux Quartzite is unique to this area and hosts an amazing overlook. Whether viewing from above or below, it’s sure to make your jaw drop. The pink and purple rock formations pop in this lush green landscape. Be cautious of the edge, the drop is immense.

The Historic Quarry can be viewed from above via the Upper Cliffline Trail and from below via a spur off of the Bur Oak Trail.

Back Country Cast Iron Steak: What You Need to Know

There is something about devouring a steak in the backcountry that makes it taste so much better. Maybe it’s the starvation, hmmmm. Here is what you need to nail it on your backcountry dinner.

Backcountry cooking doesn’t have to be all freeze-dried mush. It can be delicious, satisfying and primitive. I don’t know what it is, but there is something about eating a steak in the backcountry that makes it taste so much better. Maybe it’s the starvation… hmmm.


Here’s what you’ll need to nail it on a BWCA camp steak dinner:

  • Camp Stove & Fuel
  • Cast Iron Pan
  • Cleaning Brush & Paper Towels
  • Steak
  • Coconut Oil (easiest oil to carry in)
  • Instant Mashed Potato Packet
  • Water, filtered/treated

Camp Stove & Fuel

We prepare our steaks using a propane fueled camp stove. With the cast irons being so heavy, I like to use a low sitting stove. It’s less likely to tip over. That’s why we use my parent’s Colman camp stove when they are along. We also have a single burner that sits atop the fuel tank, a smaller cast iron would be required if using that style. The two burner also works well for preparing the steaks and the potatoes at the same time.

Cast Iron can also be used over a fire. If using this method, there are three things to keep in mind. First, cooking over a fire does not allow for even cooking. Second, it’s the hot coals that’s important, not the flame. Last, the soot is annoying to clean off of the pan and blackens everything it touches. Bonus number four, we usually have a fire ban while camping in the later summer months anyway. This year it has already started in June with the fire bans.

Cast Iron

It is important to bring a well seasoned cast iron pan. Don’t pack a brand new one, it’ll cause a sticky and frustrating mess. Test out your pan on your camp stove prior to your trip to ensure it fits on the burner and that your steak size will fit in the pan.

Steak Cuts & Prep

This meal can vary greatly in cost. We acquire high quality steaks from our local butcher for this trip, but that isn’t necessary. Good steaks can be purchased on sale at the grocery store too. Our favorite is Ribeye beef steaks for the BWCA. These are tender and flavorful, and cooking on the cast iron always adds a little something. We also recently prepared a filet mignon, yum!

A Word on Bones: Bring your favorite cut of beef, but a word of caution; avoid bone-in steaks. They’ll fry up just fine and be delicious, but the bone takes up space in a small pan, and when disposed of, it can poke a hole in the trash bag that must be packed out. Bones cannot be buried in the BWCA. It’s less fuss with boneless cuts, even if you’re sacrificing a bit of flavor.

Seasoning: Season your steaks ahead of time. Doing so will eliminate a step out in the woods, allow the steak to soak in the flavor, and remove unnecessary items to pack in (like seasoning and marinades). We prefer a dry rub, but you can us a marinade as well. Keep in mind that you have to pack everything out. A bag of marinade is bound to cause a mess.

Freezing: Once the steaks are properly seasoned, wrap them in freezer paper and freeze them completely solid. Having them completely frozen will allow them to last longer. Steaks that have been thoroughly frozen will assist in keeping the cooler cold.

Transport: A good quality cooler will be needed for transporting these scrumptious chunks of cow into canoe country. I do not mean a large hard sized igloo or yeti. No way, that’s going to be horrendous and hazardous to hang from a tree. Use a soft sided, well insulated cooler that will fit in the food bag. Place the steaks in a one gallon Ziplock freezer bag to keep the meat juices from contaminating anything else in the cooler.

Thawing & Flexibility: We don’t have specific days set for our meals. Flexibility is key. When we eat our steaks is greatly dependent on two things; how long it takes to thaw and how the fish are biting. Last year, we caught fish for our second dinner and waited on eating our carried in protein. The temperature was also much cooler than usual, so the steaks stayed frozen until the last night of our trip. If you’re needing to cook steak sooner, take them out and warm them in the sun on a rock. Don’t leave them unattended! A bear can absolutely smell them and would love an easy treat.

Instant Mashed Potatoes?

Okay, so this isn’t the freshest option, but it’s the easiest for potatoes. You can bring whole potatoes out there with you. You’ll need to wrap them in foil and place in the coals or on the fire grate. Fresh potatoes take a long time to cook, instant is quick, easy, and light to carry. They can be ready quickly, making it easy to time it with the steaks.

Idahoan Instant Potatoes makes a variety of different flavors. We like the loaded or sour cream and chive. Whatever the flavor you choose, be sure there is no milk required. Most suggest putting a little butter in, we use coconut oil out in the woods. Dairy spoils easily.

Cooking the Steak

Level Camp Stove: Place the camp stove on a level surface. This could be a fire grate, flat rock or even a picnic table for really luxurious campsites. It’s important to keep that stove level for safe camp cooking.

Prep the Cast Iron: Light the burner and place the cast iron over the flame. You’ll have to play with your settings as each camp stove is different. Find a good medium high setting for searing.

Grease it up: Add a chunk of coconut oil to the cast iron to keep the pan non-stick. Be sure that the entire base of the pan is coated.

Sear the Steak: Once the oil is headed in the pan, place the steaks in the pan, sear one side for 5-7 minutes depending on cut thickness and stove strength. Using your tongs, flip the steak over and repeat on the opposite side.

Potatoes: To time the potatoes right, start heating the water after the steaks are flipped, if using a dual burner. Follow the instructions on the package. Only used water that has been treated or filtered.

Cover: If you have a cover for the cast iron, feel free to cover the cast iron to help trap the heat. We don’t have a cover, it’s also extra weight in the pack. If you like your steaks more well done, reduce the heat and cover for longer more thorough cooking.

Devour: Monitor the steaks closely and remove from the cast iron just before they’ve reached your preferred level of doneness. They will continue to cook for a few minutes once they’ve been removed from the heat. Enjoy!

Clean Up: Be sure to clean up the cast iron while it’s still warm. It makes the cast iron easier to clean up and you won’t be wasting any fuel reheating the cast iron.

Clean Up

This is where that cleaning brush and paper towels come in. Cleaning your cast iron right away is important, especially in the backcountry. Cast irons are porous, so you’ll want to clean it while it’s still warm to keep anything from being trapped. Here are the steps taken to clean a cast iron in the BWCA.

  • Dig a hole 200 feet away from trails, campsites, and the shoreline per BWCA Regulations.
  • Pour any grease left in the pan into the hole, do not burry yet.
  • Return pan to camp stove and turn on the burner.
  • Add enough clean water to cover the bottom of the pan (no soap).
  • When the water begins to bubble, use the scrub brush to loosen up any stuck on food.
  • Pour dirty water into the hole previously dug, rinse once more with a small about of clean water.
  • When the pan is clean it’s time to re-season it. Return the pan to the stove once more and allow the water to evaporate off.
  • Once the water has evaporated, remove from heat. Immediatley, take a small amount of coconut oil with a paper towel and oil the pan.
  • Allow to cool completely before storing.

For more on back country dish washing check out How to Wash Dishes in the Backcountry.

7 Fun Hiking Games to Keep Kids Engaged on the Trail

Keeping kids engaged on the hiking trail can be a challenging task. Check out these games for trail entertainment with junior hikers.

The idea of hiking with junior hikers is sometimes more fun than actually hiking with junior hikers. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy watching my kids take in the outside world and explore. Hiking is awesome and a great activity for them, but those longer hikes can become difficult when the moods swing.

With the help of my junior hikers, Sandy (11) and Killian (3), we’ve come up with some activities and games to play while hiking. Sandy is so creative, it’s great!

1. Pooh Sticks

This game came from a childhood show ‘Winnie the Pooh.’ Pooh Sticks is played on a bridge over flowing water. Each player finds a short stick and stands on the bridge facing the upriver side. On the count of three, each player drops their stick into the water. Then rushes over to the other side of the bridge to watch them pass under. The stick to reach the other side of the bridge first wins.

This is great fun and is a great way to encourage kids to keep going until the next bridge. That is, if your hike passes a bridge. Killian gets very excited when we find a bridge now, the best hikes are hikes over rivers.

Red Light/Green Light

This was Sandy’s doing, she actually thought of it to keep Killian from running ahead. She noticed me becoming frustrated when he was running too far ahead in an area known for bears. After getting his attention, she explained the game and they had a great time. Great big sister!

One person is the traffic light. They call out ‘green light’ for the hikers to go and ‘red light’ for hikers to stop. It’s a great game to keep junior hikers from going too far ahead in an area with large predators, snakes, rivers, or winding trail where they could wander out of sight.

Freeze Hike

Much like ‘Red Light, Green Light,’ this game is also a stop and go game. But when the caller yells, “Freeze,” the other hikers must hold perfectly still. It’s great fun to see the goofy positions the kids wind up in and see if they can hold it until the caller lets them go again. Take it a step further and move their limbs around while they are frozen!

Freeze hiking is a fun time but it’s also helpful in keeping kids close and teaching them to stop when you need them to.

Scavenger Hunt or Hiking Bingo

Scavenger hunts are awesome! It really gets the kids engaged in their environment and really looking at the habitat around them. They wind up finding things that they wouldn’t normally have noticed. It works for the adults too. When I’m helping my little hiker find things on his list, I find myself noticing more on his level rather than just seeing the big woods.

A great thing about a scavenger hunt is that it can be customized for seasons, events, and environments. So, if you’re going out on a scavenger hunt in the summer, add flowers and frogs. For fall, add different colored leaves and acorns.

I Spy

A classic game that can be played anywhere. Teaching kids how to articulate what they are seeing and an interesting way to see how they view the world. We have a running joke when we play this game, we come up with many different ways to describe a tree. It derived from the Disney movie Brother Bear. Two moose are playing I Spy while riding a mammoth and all they are seeing is trees. It’s pretty funny when they say, “I spy…. a vertical log?” That one always gets a chuckle, even they know it’s coming.


On trails that are relatively smooth, a good race can keep your little hiker on the move. Especially those compitetive kids, it can also teach good sportsmanship. We are working on that with our 3 year old right now. We follow each race, win or lose, with a “Good Game!” or “Good Race!” It’s a work in progress. Killian does like a good race and it will motivate him to get to the finish line, which might be the next bench or better yet, the next bridge for a game of Pooh Sticks.

We like to use incentives with our races too, sometimes a bridge but mostly food. We keep those snack at the ready and a race to the next bench is a good time to break out the trail snack for kids.

Color Hunt

Great for spring and fall, when the colors are blooming and changing. Just like the scavenger hunt, but with color in mind. So the object isn’t too specific, just the color of it. Perfect for those junior hikers learning their colors. This activity can help them discover all of the colors in their environment. This versatile activity can be played just about anywhere, not just on a hike.

How to Wash Dishes in the Backcountry of the BWCA

Washing dishes anywhere is a chore, but it doesn’t have to be a miserable chore. Get a system down and make dishwashing in the backcountry a snap.

Even the wilderness can’t save us from having to do the dishes. Washing dishes in the backcountry doesn’t have to be terrible, though. Once you have bug spray and a good system down it’s pretty slick.

Regulations & Disposal

For such a freeing place, the BWCA sure does have a lot of regulations! These regulations keep one of the world’s most pristine wilderness areas just that; pristine! So, please respect the rules and keep our beloved BWCA clean.

BWCA regulations require campers to dispose of dishwater at least 200 feet from any water sources including rivers, creeks, and lakes. It must also be disposed of 200 feet from campsites, latrines, and walking paths such as hiking trails and portages. Keeping dishwater disposal distant from these areas will help reduce the encounters with curious critters and cause the water to be filtered through the ground before entering the aquatic system.

Dish soap & Sponge

Go easy on the soap quantity, a little bit goes a long way. Biodegradable or not, less is more. We use regular dawn dish soap. A couple drops of soap gets us through an entire meal’s worth of dishes, no problem.


Growing up, our family would always bring a dish cloth. I remember scrubbing noodles off the bottom of the pot with my nails because the cloth wasn’t efficient. Now we bring a sponge with a scrubby side that we have cut into thirds to make it smaller. It’s small, wrings out most of it’s water, packs well and is easy to hang up on the clothes line. In general, I’m not a fan of sponges, but it works best for camping purposes.

Regular drying/tea towels will work just fine. We have discovered, however, that using a quick drying micro fiber towel is the most efficient way to get dishes and towels dried quickly. This is important for those who don’t base camp and are on the move during a route. It’s a real pain to have a towel hanging off of a bag to dry while you’re portaging and canoeing.


Heating water isn’t necessary for dish washing in the BWCA, but it is nice. Heating up a small pot of water on your gas stove can make for more pleasant washing, it’s up to you whether you want to use the fuel on that or not.

We prefer to wash with water right from the lake, nothing fancy. We wash back into the woods, away from trails and water. In the past, we have used a tub but I’ve gone lighter in recent years and simply use our largest cooking pot, which is actually quite small. It gets the job done, though and doesn’t take up any extra space in our packs.

Rinse water can be hauled in a collapsible bucket or another pot. Again, we use water right from the lake. There are some that fold down to fit in the palm of your hand. Camp gear has come so far!

Clothes Line

You’ll likely already have a clothes line ready to roll for bathing suits and wet clothes. If not, a simple stretch of paracord and some clothes pins is all you need.

Root of the Issue

Bring a collapsible shovel with a serrated edge for cutting through the excessive amount of roots in the ground. I’m not kidding, we tried to pack light one year and brought a tiny trowel with a smooth edge. It did not go well. My following birthday, my husband gifted me a collapsible shovel with a serrated edge. It’s pretty awesome. The hole doesn’t need to be large or deep. Just enough to pour a little water in. We are trying to reduce impact, not litter the forest with holes.

Fewer Dishes, Less Washing

Try reducing the amount of dishes you need to wash by making a few of them dual purpose. For example; drink your coffee/hot cocoa first in the morning and follow it by making oatmeal in the same mug. Always have your breakfast after your beverage, otherwise bits of breakfast will be littering your morning brew.

The System

After cooking your delicious meal and feasting, it’s time for the dirty work. Dish duty should be a shared task. If you have a small group, everyone gets a job. For larger groups take turns with different meals. For the most time efficient dish wash, 3 people is optimal. One to wash, one to rinse and dry, and one to dig the hole. On our most recent excursion, we had a 4th job; watching the kids, this took the most effort.

We have a pretty slick system for dish washing in the back country. The key to not being devoured by mosquitoes is to work fast and well together.

  1. Spray with bug spray, very important.
  2. Heat water while gathering dishes, soap, sponge, towels, rinse water, and shovel.
  3. Find dish washing location.
  4. One person starts on a hole (200 feet from trails, latrine, camp, water and portages).
  5. Soap up the dish water and lay out one dish cloth.
  6. Wash each dish with the sponge and toss into rinse bucket.
  7. Each dish can be rinsed and placed on the drying towel.
  8. Depending on how fast your washer is, dishes should be dried as they are rinsed or after they are all washed.
  9. Wash the pot last and hand off to the hole digger. The pot should be dumped in the hole, then rinsed out with the rinse water. The remaining rinse water can be disposed of in the hole. Bury the dish water.
  10. Dry and stack the dishes. Keep the dishes off the ground so they don’t collect debris.
  11. Hang the towels and sponge to dry, pack away your clean dishes. Done!

Your camping crew will learn what works best for your situation. We’ve learned through trial and error and things have gotten better as we’ve grown more experienced and camp tools have evolved over time.

Tenting in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

An unforgettable camping adventure awaits in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The bison roaming, the elk bugling, and the star gazing. Absolutely breathtaking.

For an unforgettable, wild experience right in a campground, check out Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s Cottonwood Campground. Tent camping in a National Park was on the bucket list, Teddy Roosevelt was the perfect park to start in.


We stayed at the Cottonwood Campground in the South Unit of TRNP. This campground is on the left side of the entrance road, there was a lone bison on a hillside to greet us as we drove in. A wonderful welcome.

Space: The sites are quite close together and do not offer much in the way of privacy. This wasn’t too much of a deterrent for us as we were only at the site for sleeping and much too busy exploring to be in the campground anyhow.

Tent sites

The tent pad was a good size for our medium sized tent. The tent site distances range from being able to touch your vehicle to a short walk down a dirt path, but still within sight of the parking area. These are not remote campsites by any means, but there is still plenty of wildlife to be experienced.

Invest in some good quality tent stakes. We had just upgraded our tent stakes for thicker, more durable stakes. These proved to be no match for North Dakota’s tough soil. We bent just one stake, but were more careful about where and how we drove the rest into the ground.

While the sites are fairly close together, we didn’t get any feelings of being smothered or crowded. Likely due to the open, wild spaces that surround the campground. Tree cover in not in short supply at the campground. Beyond the outskirts of the sites, there is open spaces to see the bison and wild horses that frequent the area.

Wildlife & Nature

The wildlife is abundant in this National Park. Prairie dogs, bison, wild horses, elk, and so much more. Never have I experienced so much wildlife in a single park experience. Not only are these animals roaming the park in great number, but you can also experience their presence right from the campground. Check out these Short Hikes and Overlooks in Theodore Roosevelt NP for more chances to see the wildlife.

Natural Noise Machine: Leave your noise machines at home folks, you have all the nature sounds you need right here in this park. It was amazing. I’ve had many nights sleeping in the BWCA in Minnesota listening to the loons call. This park might have that experience matched. The elk bugling in the late September rut was amazing. The sense of wild that comes from sitting up late at the campfire with the majestic elk calls sounding in the distance the pinnacle of camp experiences.

Starry Nights: Turn out the lights and gaze up at the universe. The stars in this park are brilliant. After the kids went to bed, we sat by the small fire and took in the clear star speckled sky. The peace is infinite… until the kids wake up that is.

Do Not Pet The Fluffy Cows: The bison can and will roam wherever they please. This does include the campground. This is not an invitation to approach them. Don’t do this, they will toss you. Bison have been known to walk right through camp and enjoy the shade this grove has to offer. We didn’t see any bison in camp during our stay, but we did hear shuffling on the ground near our site during the night.

Breathtaking Sunrise: Looking to the east early in the morning gives campers views of the most breathtaking sunrise over North Dakota’s badlands. The crisp September mornings are perfect for enjoying the a cup of camp coffee and a link of breakfast sausage.

Bison Poo

Watch your step, droppings abound! All around the campground there is sign of bison, watch your step. Our 2 year old was all about the poop and let us know when we passed some more. It’s everywhere. So even if you don’t see bison in the campground, you’ll see just how comfortable they are when they roam in the area based on the location of their droppings. From the middle of your campsite to the doorway of the bathroom, watch your step.


We arrived after park hours, so we needed a different solution for firewood. We were able to find firewood for sale at a gas station/convenience store in Medora. It burned well, you never know with purchased firewood. Gathering dead and down wood is allowed in the campground, but nowhere else in the park. It is rather picked over, though.

There is a lack of firepits, but this makes sense as it’s prairie grassland in the surrounding area. A high risk for wildfire. However, there are raised BBQ grills that can accommodate a fire large enough to successfully roast marshmallows for s’mores.


The bathrooms were still open in September, so we did bathrooms available during our stay. The bathrooms are open seasonal, flush toilets close during the winter with vault toilets available year-round. It was a treat to have running water to wash hands, we are accustomed to a more rugged setting so this was a nice.

There are no showers available at this campground. We know this ahead of time but with our cooler weather camping, we weren’t too concerned with becoming too pungent.

There is so much to see in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It’s a wonderful park to spend a couple of days exploring


The city of Medora is settled right at the parks entrance. Take time to visit this neat town. Rumor has it that there is a great musical to attend with a pitch fork steak grill. If you’re interested in this event, make sure your visit is between June and early September. The show schedule can help you plan your time to visit.

Little Missouri Saloon & Dining Room: We had dinner a great dinner at this restaurant. I highly recommend the elk burger, that was amazing. Scott ordered the Bison Steak, I snuck a piece and it was amazing. For an appetizer, we had an order of the Steak and Cheese bites. The kids had burgers, even the kids menu items were delicious. All around, this was a fantastic place to stop in after a day of adventuring around the National Park.