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Hike with the Bison and Teddy Roosevelt.

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2,447' 746 m


2,022' 616 m


631' 192 m


627' 191 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (13°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Kids will absolutely love the expansive views and opportunities to view wildlife along this trail. Just don't let them wander too far, as some area wildlife is predatory.

National Park rules and restrictions apply.


This trail offers a short introduction to what Theodore Roosevelt National Park has to offer. The trail offers grand views, narrow coulees, trees, prairie, geology and wildlife.

Bison can impede forward progress. However, it is worth turning around to see them.

Need to Know

This trail has a few locations where you'll have to slow down and make sure you are following the right trail. Use the Hiking Project mobile app to help with wayfinding.


Start at the Caprock Coulee trailhead/parking area. Sign in at the trail register and head left down a short descent. Follow the trail along the bottom of the coulee which is also part of the self-guided Caprock Coulee trail.

Once reaching the end of the self-guided trail, turn left and cross a small bridge over a stream. If this section is wet the trail may be hard to follow. Generally head south until you find the wooden steps heading uphill.

The trail then enters a section of trees the circles back uphill until you reach an overlook with stunning views of the park. Continue following the trail while taking in the views and looking for bison.

The trail then crosses the scenic road and winds along the road until you reach a parking lot for the River Bend Overlook. Here there is a short trail to an old CCC shelter with expansive views of the Little Missouri and south side of the park.

Go to the east end of the parking lot where the trail is right next to the guardrail for the road. The trail then heads right and down a steep incline before following a narrow ridge. This section of the trail can be hard to follow, but look for round wooden posts serving as stairs to know you are on trail. Also, a few layers of bentonite are crossed and if they are wet, can be very slippery.

Continue onward, trying to not fall of off the trail while taking in the sights. The trail drops steeply downhill until you reach the Scenic road and the parking lot you started at. Don't forget to sign out at the register.

Flora & Fauna

Bison! Deer, coyotes, mountain lion, longhorn cattle.


Land Manager: NPS - Theodore Roosevelt

Shared By:

Kyle Thompson

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 21 votes


in North Unit


  4.5 from 21 votes
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in North Unit


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4 Views Last Month
2,979 Since Apr 19, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate



View of the Little Missouri and southern part of the park.
Apr 19, 2015 near Watford…, ND
Bison near the Caprock Coulee Trail
Dec 26, 2018 near Watford…, ND
Looking southwest to the Little Missouri and the direction of travel.
Apr 21, 2015 near Watford…, ND
Sunset brings out the rippling topography surrounding the River Bend Overlook. Photo credit: NPS/Dave Bruner.
May 25, 2017 near Watford…, ND
Narrow Coulee
Apr 19, 2015 near Watford…, ND



Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Apr 29, 2024
Katarina Derse
Hiked 1:10-3:30pm, very pretty, bought some postcards at the visitor center 4.5mi — 2h 23m
Sep 24, 2022
Murray Smith
great hike, a little challenging in a few spots, but well worth the time and effort 1.6mi — 1h 20m
Sep 17, 2022
Holly Enderle
great trail — best views when you do the look counterclockwise! 4.2mi
Jul 22, 2022
Alex Maietta
Jul 11, 2022
Jack M
Jul 3, 2022
Ryan F
Good vistas and variation in scenery (prairie, caprocks, bentonitic clay, forest) 4.2mi — 2h 15m
Oct 1, 2021
Louis Ventura
Jul 6, 2021
Lauren Alexanderson
Holy cliffs batman 4.2mi — 2h 35m

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