Medora, North Dakota
Fly into Dickinson and drive 36 miles west on Interstate 94 to find Medora, which serves as the gateway to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It’s also a key point of access to the clay buttes and plateaus that break up the rolling landscape of the North Dakota Badlands. For an up-close tour, plan on cycling the Maah Daah Hey Trail. Start at the trail’s southernmost point, near the Burning Coal Vein Campground. (You can drive or arrange a shuttle to carry you and your bike.) From there, pedal the 50 miles back to town, grab lunch and then head 16 miles west (by car or bike—your call) to Square Butte, where you’ll find rock climbing walls that push 90 feet. That will probably leave you exhausted, but if you still have steam, don’t forget about the park. You still have some exploring to do.
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