The Wild West in North Dakota

A 4-Day Sample Itinerary

This Sample Itinerary can be customized for anytime of the year!

In North Dakota, the Wild West encompasses more than Ponderosa pine-painted buttes, rodeos and the cowboy lifestyle found “West River.” Eastern North Dakota includes the country’s first military fort, landmark movie theaters, sacred white buffalo, bonanza farmers and booming railroad towns.

Cross the entire state and you’ll find that North Dakota unfolds like a storybook of western expansion – telling tales you won’t soon forget.

Day One: Theodore Roosevelt National Park & Medora

THEODORE ROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK: Located in the beautiful Badlands, the park is home to a large bison herd, prairie dogs, wild horses, elk, deer and eagles. The crayon effect of bright green, red and gold folded into the scoria rock formations and the diverse trees and grasslands add to this nature’s picture-perfect landscape. Any time is a great time to visit this iconic national park, which is named for the 26th president who once lived there.

Medora, an authentic Old West cow-town, was founded in 1883 and is still a hopping spot during the summer months. Medora offers a nightly Broadway-style variety show at the spectacular Burning Hills Amphitheater. Premier motorcoach parking, front-door drop-off and an escalator assist with this group-friendly attraction/event.

The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame details the history of American Indians, ranching, rodeos and the western lifestyle of the plains and Badlands. A “Wild West Show” outside the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame is held several times during the summer months and horse-drawn wagons trot you around town.

See the Chateau de Mores State Historic Site, this elegant 26-room mansion on the edge of town, was a gift from the Marquis de More’ to his wife.

Day Two: Bismarck-Mandan

The sister cities on either side of the Missouri River share recreational and historical importance. The North Dakota Heritage Center on the Capitol Grounds offers an in-depth look at North Dakota from prehistoric times to American Indians and cowboys and settlement of the state. The “Skyscraper” Capitol is home to the North Dakota Theodore Roosevelt Rough Riders Hall of Fame.

Experience life in 1875 at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park near of Mandan. March to the first sergeant’s instructions as you visit General George and Libby Custer’s reconstructed home. Walk the parade grounds to the barracks of the 7th Cavalry, the Commissary Store and visit the horses at the stables. In the park, On-A-Slant Indian Village comes to life with story-telling and sharing of the life in this 400-year-old Mandan Village. Five reconstructed earthlodges can be toured.

Day Three: Jamestown-Valley City

The home of western writer Louis L’Amour, and the gateway to Bonanza farm country, Jamestown honors the role played by the bison on the frontier. The National Buffalo Museum is dedicated to the history of the American Bison. The museum houses artifacts and original artworks and has an observation deck for the live buffalo herd. Can you spot three rare albino bison? Take a self-guided walking tour of L’Amour’s hometown.

The Ronald Regan Minuteman III Missile Site includes a visit 60 feet below ground into the launch control center and launch facility. Antique shopping is a must while visiting Valley City. Make a stop at Rosebud Visitor Center for the Rosebud Superintendent’s railcar and the North Dakota Ag Hall of Fame. A side trip may include the Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway to Fort Ransom State Park’s semi-annual Sodbuster Days.

Day Four: Fargo-West Fargo

Dynamic, historic and exciting, the Red River Valley sister cities show the arc of history. Fargo Theatre offers your group a unique opportunity to listen to a restored Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. Parking is not an issue at West Fargo’s Bonanzaville. Step back into the days of bonanza farms, sod houses, prairie churches and your local country store.

R U Legendary? We say “YES!’ Start by contacting the North Dakota Tourism office toll-free at 800-435-5663 and request your free group travel guide or Email: dfelchle@nd.gov.

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