Trail Running in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

After driving the entire length of Montana on Saturday, Allison and I were happy to stop at Theodore Roosevelt National Park for a few hours of hiking and trail running. We weren’t out to break any course records, so it was a nice cool-down after a week of climbing mountains.

Running down the Ekblom trail

Crossing through a prairie dog town

The park’s terrain was really unique…but even more memorable was the wildlife. We encountered several small herds of bison along the trail, including one stubborn group that blocked our path for 5-10 minutes.

A herd of bison along the Ekblom trail

Moving off into the hills

We followed the Ekblom trail for a mile or so, then turned north on the Maah Daah Hey trail for a few miles. This trail actually runs 96 miles – winding through National Grassland and connecting all three units of the park. A future backpacking trip, perhaps?

Running on the Maah Daah Hey trail

The view from one of the ridges along the Maah Daah Hey

Allison stopping to enjoy the view

Eventually we doubled back to the Big Plateau trail. This trail crossed a big plateau (shocking, right?) before meeting back up with the Little Missouri River.

Running across the plateau

Along the way, we passed through a huge prairie dog town. It was sort of a surreal experience, running past hundreds of prairie dog holes with thousands of the little critters scurrying around and screeching at us. They didn’t seem very happy to be disturbed.

One of the prairie dogs

More prairie dog holes

We made it back to the river around sunset, which we had to wade across to reach our car.

A last glimpse across the plateau

Wading across the Little Missouri River

After changing into some fresh clothes, we stopped for dinner at Dairy Queen and drove another couple hours to our hotel in Bismarck, North Dakota.

So that’s the end of our vacation (and this wave of blog posts). I’ll probably be writing again after next month’s trail marathon.

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Published in: on August 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm  Comments (4)