The 7 Must-Experience Outdoor Adventures in North Dakota (2022)
North Dakota might be the least visited state in the United States, but it is a state that needs to be on your radar for your next adventure trip. This highly overlooked state is a powerhouse of exciting opportunities for adventure junkies. There are so many places to see and things to do in North Dakota that you will be left with no time to rest. From the many historical landmarks, national and state parks, beautiful forests, and plenty of outdoor adventures. North Dakota is the best place to head to for having some great outdoor adventures.
The 7 Must-Experience Outdoor Adventures in North Dakota
From biking to hiking to golfing and fishing, and much more, here are the top outdoor adventures to indulge in when you are in North Dakota.
1. Follow the Footsteps of Lewis and Clark on their Trail
Who hasn’t studied about the famous explorers Lewis and Clark at school? Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are known today for their expedition from the Mississippi River to the West Coast and back. Their expedition was termed the Corps of Discovery, and it was the visionary project of President Thomas Jefferson to explore and find out more about the great American West.
While in North Dakota, you have the perfect opportunity to follow in their footsteps and hike the Lewis and Clark Trail through the West. North Dakota was part of their journey that began in 1804 and lasted for two years. While in North Dakota, you can explore the areas that these famous explorers passed through. Stop to visit the Lewis and Clark interpretive center, the Lewis and Clark State Park, and many other attractions named after these famed explorers of the US.
2. An Adventurous Visit To The Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Named after the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, this national park is the pride of North Dakota. Made up of three geographically separated landscapes of the great Badlands in Western North Dakota, this national park offer 100 miles of horse trails, hiking trails, wildlife viewing, camping, and backcountry hiking. This landscape was what drew Roosevelt to North Dakota throughout his life as he loved this rugged lifestyle and freedom of the West.
You can view many wildlife here at the park, including wild horses, bison, elk, sheep, deer, and prairie dogs. The badlands are also known as the Grand Canyon of the North.
The Theodore Roosevelt National Park is divided into two main sections, nearly 50 miles apart. The president’s former Elkhorn Ranch is located between these two sections of the park. The southern part of this national park is the more popular part, owing to the city of Medora, while the northern part is famous for the spectacular landscape. You can choose to camp, horse ride, rock climb, or just drive through this beautiful park. During the peak tourist season, there are many park rangers here who give guided tours of the place. There are also many nature walks that take place throughout the day.
The park is also an excellent place to spend your evenings enjoying around a campfire and learning about the famous president who has made the park famous.
A trip to this national park will give you memories for a lifetime.
3. Hike Along the Maah Daah Hey Trail
This beautiful trail stretches for 140-miles and connects the northern and southern parts of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Horseback riders, bicyclists, and hikers can be found here along the trail that takes you through the rocky badlands and beautiful rolling prairies.
4. See The Northern Lights
Not many people are aware that you can see the stunning northern lights in North Dakota. In fact, North Dakota is one of the few states in the US where you can actually see the beautiful Aurora Borealis, commonly known as the Northern Lights.
While you can view the northern lights all year long, the best time to observe them is in the fall or winter. These months have the perfect long and dark nights that make for the ideal viewing sessions. However, be prepared to face the cold and snowy terrain of North Dakota.
Some of the best places to see the northern lights in North Dakota include:
- Crow Flies High Butte
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park
- Mystical Horizons
- Turtle Mountain
- Beaver Lake State Park
- Lake Sakakawea
- Fort Ransom State Park
- Lake Metigoshe
- Cross Ranch State Park
5. Visit the Devil’s Lake
The Devil’s Lake in North Dakota is the biggest natural lake in the state, with its northern shores bordering the lake and the southern shores bordering the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation. The Devil’s Lake is a great place to visit for wildlife viewing, including prairie dogs, bison, deer, and elk. Some of the best fishing in the state is at Devil’s Lake.
6. Pembina Gorge
Whether you love to hike, canoe, or go kayaking, the winding bends of the Pembina River will take you through the stunning Pembina Gorge. A visit to this gorge is a must for any nature and adventure lover.
Spread over 12,500 acres, the Pembina Gorge provides year round recreation activities. Some of the adventure activities you can indulge in here include:
- Horseback Riding
- Downhill and cross country skiing
- Wildlife observing
- Bird watching
With nearly 65 different natural diversity features documented in the Pembina Gorge, this beautiful destination is sure to keep you busy.
7. King’s Walk Golf Course
This is one of the most popular golf courses in North Dakota. This links-style golf course can be identified by its mounds, native grasses, moguls, and pine trees, interspersed with lakes. The overall golf course is styled in a dry southwestern arroyo landscape.
This Arnold Palmer signature golf course opened in 2002 and is known to be one of the premier golfing destinations in the state.
With so many adventurous things to do in North Dakota, there won’t be a single boring moment in your trip. The stunning beauty of North Dakota’s Wild West and the rolling prairies make for a spectacular holiday for everyone.