Maah Daah Hey
ElevationAscent: 8,302' 2,530 m
Descent: -8,595' -2,620 m
High: 2,701' 823 m
Low: 1,983' 604 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)
Current trail conditions
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“96 miles of North Dakota singletrack through badlands and prairies”— Karen Ryberg
Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife · Commonly Backpacked
The trail crosses a mix of Federal, State, and private land. Camping is prohibited on private and State land and users must stay on the trail in these areas. Any gates opened must be closed. Artifacts and other cultural features are protected by Federal Law. Pack out all trash and other materials.
The Maah Daah Hey is a shared-use trail, enjoyed by those on foot, equestrians, and mountain bikers, and is one of the jewels of North Dakota open space. As it follows the Little Missouri the trail blends difficult climbs on the bentonite buttes, with challenging downhills, and grasslands stretches where one is on top of the buttes and viewing the rugged lands below. Beautiful vistas of the river-cut valley abound.
The MDH can be broken down into sections, each anchored by campgrounds along the route: the southern end starts just south of Medora at Sully Creek State Park. The trail heads north and goes through the south unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Cottonwood Campground is near the trail. The MDH exists at the north end of the south unit and continues to Wannagan Campground. From Wannagan the trail continues to Elkhorn Campground and the nearby Elkhorn Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. After Elkhorn, the next campground is Magpie. Then Bennett Campground is 3.2 miles off the trail, accessible by the Bennett Trail. Near the north end, the Summit Campground is accessible by the 3.8 mile Summit Trail. Finally, the Maah Daah Hey Trail ends at the CCC Campground, just south of the north unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Water cache boxes are available along the trail for long-distance or thru hikes. The locations of these water boxes are available on the website of the Maah Daah Hey Trail Association at mdhta.com.
From Sully Creek State Park, hikers can continue south on the newer Maah Daah Hey II - The Deuce trail for more badlands challenges.
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