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Painted Canyon

Intermediate
  4.6 ( 10 ) Favorite

Trail

1.1 mile 1.8 kilometer loop
78% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 262' 80 m
Descent: -261' -80 m
High: 2,780' 847 m
Low: 2,533' 772 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Karen Ryberg

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This is a loop trail with a steep descent and steep return ascent and beautiful badlands scenery.

Karen Ryberg

Features Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Pets in the park must be restrained at all times, and are not permitted in park buildings, on trails, or in the backcountry. Be aware that dogs can agitate bison and other animals, creating a dangerous situation.

Overview

Start at the Painted Canyon Visitors Center, open seasonally May through October. If the visitors center is closed, you can still take the exit off Interstate 94 and park on the road in front of the gate and walk through the pedestrian gate. Do not block the vehicle gate as the Park Service needs to access the area for administrative and safety purposes.

Description

Proceed to the Visitors Center and go through the obvious pathway to the north side of the structure to the Painted Canyon Overlook. This is one of the most popular spots for viewing the scenery in the park.

Take the paved trail to your left, and you'll come to the Painted Canyon Nature Trail trailhead. Follow the trail down as it loops downward into the canyon, then back up. The ascent is steep and the maximum grade is 20% but not rated as difficult because of its short length.

Flora & Fauna

Bison, wild horses, juniper, native prairie grasses.

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Need to Know, Runner Notes, History & Background

Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Theodore Roosevelt

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Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 10 votes

#1

in South Unit

#1084

Overall
  4.6 from 10 votes
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Featured Run Rankings

#1

in South Unit

#1

in North Dakota

#1,084

Overall
18 Views Last Month
1,415 Since Sep 9, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

More of the Bad
Dec 5, 2017 near Medora, ND
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Dec 5, 2017 near Medora, ND

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