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Jones/Lower Talkington/Lower Paddock Loop



11.8 mile 19.0 kilometer loop
99% Runnable


Ascent: 509' 155 m
Descent: -507' -155 m
High: 2,500' 762 m
Low: 2,239' 682 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 10% (6°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Karen Ryberg


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A beautiful loop at any time of the year.

Karen Ryberg

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


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.


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 Trail Run 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.

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Land Manager: NPS - Theodore Roosevelt

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Sep 5, 2018
Geoff Pleiss
Jul 20, 2018
agitated prairie rattler, prairie dog gauntlet, bison herds, coyote, beautiful landscape

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 6 votes


in South Unit


  4.7 from 6 votes
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in South Unit


in North Dakota


23 Views Last Month
1,975 Since Nov 8, 2015



Enjoy this dramatic view along the Badlands Spur.
Apr 27, 2017 near Medora, ND
Fall colors and bison along the trail in September.
Nov 11, 2015 near Medora, ND
Grassy rolls and dirt peaks surround the Jones Creek Trail.
May 25, 2017 near Medora, ND
Rolling grasslands as a storm lurks in the distance
Jun 9, 2017 near Medora, ND
Heading into the Jones Creek Trail, enjoy this scenic view.
May 25, 2017 near Medora, ND
The Lower Talkington Trail offers a great spot to get out and explore!
May 25, 2017 near Medora, ND


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