Long before Theodore Roosevelt became America’s 26th president, he spent years as a rancher in the rugged lands preserved by this national park.

He grew a strong attachment to the landscape, and now the park’s three distinct units cover some 70,000 acres of badlands, prairies and forests abundant with plants and wildlife. The two main areas of the park make up the North Unit, near Watford City, and the South Unit, in Medora. The smallest and hardest-to-reach part of the park is the Elkhorn Ranch unit, preserving the foundation where Roosevelt’s former ranch once stood, 35 miles north of Medora on the bank of the Little Missouri River.

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