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Jones/Lower Talkington/Lower Paddock Loop

Intermediate
 4.5 (6) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A beautiful loop at any time of the year.


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Map Key

11.8

Miles

19.0

KM

Loop

2,500' 762 m

High

2,239' 682 m

Low

509' 155 m

Up

507' 155 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

10%

Max Grade (6°)

Dogs No Dogs

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

Overview

This loop combines the CCC Trail, Jones Creek Trail, the Lower Talkington Trail, the Badlands Spur, and the Lower Paddock Creek Trail. You're likely to see bison and wild horses.

Need to Know

Very little shade and no reliable sources of water.

Description

This is a loop recommended by the Theodore Roosevelt National Park's hiking guide and shown on their map. Stop at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park Visitors Center to pick up a map and ask about trail conditions. Expect to see bison and wild horses, as well as other hikers, runners and horseback riders. Some signposts are snapped off by the bison, but these trails are generally well-used and easy to follow. Almost all singletrack, dirt trails, except a gravel section near the end.

From the park entrance, follow the paved road to the Peaceful Valley Ranch parking area. Head northeast on the CCC Trail. There are many bison and horse paths in the area, watch for trail markers, study the map before starting and utilize the Hiking Project mobile app. After about a mile, cross the paved Park road and pass another parking lot, while continuing East on the Jones Creek Trail.

In another 2.5 miles, you'll come to the signed junction with the Lower Talkington Trail. This is a nice area to stop for lunch or a snack. Take a right following the Lower Talkington Trail to the Southeast for 1.8 miles, then take the Badlands Spur to the South. The trail approaches the park road and follows along it to the Southwest to a junction with the Lower Paddock Creek Trail.

Take the Lower Paddock Creek Trail to the Northwest for about 3.6 miles. This follows the creek to another parking lot and you take the gravel road from there to the paved park road, cross the road and continue a short distance to the Peaceful Valley Ranch parking area.

Flora & Fauna

Bison, wild horses, mule deer, white-tail deer, hawks, and wildflowers.

History & Background

Peaceful Valley Ranch was built in the 1880s and served as a dude ranch from 1918 to the 1930s. The ranch and its owners assisted in the establishment of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Theodore Roosevelt

Shared By:

Karen Ryberg

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 6 votes

#3

in South Unit

#2243

Overall
  4.5 from 6 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
17%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#3

in South Unit

#9

in North Dakota

#2,243

Overall
60 Views Last Month
2,375 Since Nov 8, 2015
Intermediate

0%
0%
83%
0%
17%
0%

Photos

Horses along the way also seem to enjoy the Jones Creek Trail.
Nov 10, 2015 near Medora, ND
Enjoy this dramatic view along the Badlands Spur.
Apr 27, 2017 near Medora, ND
Consulting the map at the junction of the Jones Creek and Roundup Trails.
Sep 19, 2019 near Medora, ND
Fall colors and bison along the trail in September.
Nov 11, 2015 near Medora, ND
Rolling grasslands as a storm lurks in the distance
Jun 9, 2017 near Medora, ND
Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Oct 29, 2016 near Medora, ND

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Current Trail Conditions

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Minor Issues 13 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jun 18, 2020
Tara Opsteen-Van Dyke
Covered in mud, but an aweseme hike!
Sep 13, 2019
Zachary Hale
Lower Paddock Area very flooded which led to a very difficult beginning following/traversing the trail. Halfway through, things improved! 11.8mi
Jun 17, 2019
S S
13.1mi — 5h 35m
Jul 5, 2018
Ben Abbott
Drove the 30 mile loop in car. Got out of car to see prairie dogs a few times. 33mi
May 12, 2018
Kat Zelak
Jun 28, 2017
H.B. Montane
Very buggy, but beautiful.
Nov 26, 2016
Stephanie Ohms
Aug 23, 2016
Paja Stanul
Very nice trail! Make sure you have enough water. You can get lost very easy and take wrong turn to different trail so bring this app with you :) 12mi — 5h 15m