Medora ND

Medora, North dakota
Medora, North dakota

Medora ND is a small but renowned town nestled in the North Dakota Badlands, 134 miles west of Bismarck. This well-conserved natural area combines rich American history with stunning outdoor scenery and activities. Whether it is hiking backcountry trails or enjoying a high-spirited western musical show, Medora has something to share with every visitor.

History & Attractions

History & Attractions
History & Attractions  Image: North Dakota Tourism / Wade Westin

In 1883, Marquis de Mores, intending to ship refrigerated meat from his packing plant to Chicago, established Medora ND along the Northern Pacific Railway. The Marquis’ home, Chateau de Mores, remains today, carefully restored and opened as a museum in 1941. Today, the 128 acres of Chateau de Mores State Historic Site and Des Mores Memorial Park offer guided tours. Medora is also home to the annual summer Medora Musical. Originally based on a production of Ol’ Four Eyes, this Burning Hills Amphitheatre show now draws national attention, celebrating the life and career of President Theodore Roosevelt. The western-style show celebrates the history of the Old West while paying patriotic tribute to the United States, combining comedy, musical, and variety acts of all kinds.

Roosevelt National Park & Badlands

Roosevelt National Park & Badlands
Roosevelt National Park & Badlands

The town and the surrounding Badlands are well known for their affiliation with Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, who once owned two ranches in the area. Also known as the youngest president in the nation’s history, Roosevelt credits his presidential abilities with skills he learned from his experiences in Medora, North Dakota. Visitors to Medora can explore the 110 square miles of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. This protected region and its visitor’s center offer 95 miles of backcountry trails, a scenic 36-mile drive, a museum including Roosevelt’s Maltese Cross ranch cabin, and a theatre. The park schedules many events to celebrate Roosevelt’s appreciation of the North Dakota Badlands, and how that awareness influenced his conservation efforts as president.

Medora North Dakota Hotels & Lodging

Medora North Dakota Hotels & Lodging
Medora North Dakota Hotels & Lodging  Image: Rough Riders Hotel

Visitors to Medora ND can relax in the luxury of Rough Rider’s Hotel (pictured), located in the heart of downtown. Originally built in 1884, the hotel has changed hands and names several times. However, it has been owned and operated by the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation since 1986, who have renovated and expanded the property. Visitors can also choose to rent a cabin or a house in Medora through one of several rental agencies. Cabins range from rustic one-room structures to The Grand Dakota Cabin, complete with air-conditioning. Theodore Roosevelt National Park also offers camping within the park, which includes a backcountry guide.

Top image: North Dakota Tourism / Jason Lindsey

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