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blue Caprock Coulee

  4.4 ( 8 ) Favorite


4.2 mile 6.7 kilometer loop


Ascent: 631' 192 m
Descent: -627' -191 m
High: 2,447' 746 m
Low: 2,022' 616 m


Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)


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Trail shared by ktboundary Thompson


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Hike with the Bison and Teddy Roosevelt.

ktboundary Thompson

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.

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Land Manager: NPS - Theodore Roosevelt

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Jul 5, 2019
Mike Johnson
Jun 29, 2019
Dan Stewart
Jun 18, 2019
Jun 2, 2019
Jericho Kouba
Oct 19, 2018
Jack M
Definitely some narrow sections! and very windy 4.4mi — 2h 44m
Sep 16, 2018
Ricky Holzer
Beautiful scenery and two bison! 4.2mi
Aug 22, 2018
Randi Smith
Aug 8, 2018
Ryan Brouwer

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 8 votes


in North Unit


  4.4 from 8 votes
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