|Distance||0.4 miles roundtrip|
|Terrain||A few hills|
|Best Seasons||Spring, Fall|
- Views of the badlands and the namesake wind carved canyon
- The best view of the Little Missouri River in the South Unit of the park
Almost everyone who visits Theodore Roosevelt National Park drives the scenic loop around the park, so why not stop at the convenient but beautiful Wind Canyon Trail along the way? In less than half a mile, you will see a wind-sculpted canyon, badlands rock formations, and the best view of the Little Missouri River in the South Unit of the park. With so much epic scenery in such a short distance, it would be silly not to stop here!
You can do the loop in either direction, just start the trail at whichever end is closest to your parking spot. I did the trail in a clockwise direction, so I will describe it as such. The trail leads to the edge of Wind Canyon, as pictured below. Unlike the formations in the rest of the park where water erosion sculpted the badlands, this canyon is the result of wind, something you probably became familiar with during your journey across North Dakota to reach this park.
Dogs are prohibited on all trails in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. This hike is excellent for all ages and is quite enjoyable despite its shortness. Spring and fall are the two best seasons to visit since summer heat can be brutal on this shadeless trail and winter can cause dangerous icy conditions. This is a popular stop along the scenic drive, so expect to see plenty of people no matter when you go.
From Interstate 94, take the exit for Medora (different depending on which direction you are coming from). Continue through the town and turn to enter Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Follow the main park road, then turn left further down the road from the campground. Continue on the scenic drive until you reach the turnout on the left side of the road for Wind Canyon.
Google Maps Directions
Parking, Fees, and Facilities
Entrance to the park requires paying the $30 vehicle entrance fee valid for 7 days, except on designated fee free days. Annual passes for Theodore Roosevelt National Park are also available at $55. Interagency annual passes are available for $80 with discounts for seniors, military, and those with disabilities. Visit the Theodore Roosevelt National Park webpage about fees for more detailed information. There are no facilities available near the lot.