Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
Watch out for bison, rattlesnakes, and slippery mud (bentonite clay). Can be very hot in the summer. Ticks in the spring.
From the end of the self-guided Caprock Coulee Nature Trail
, turn left and cross a small bridge over a stream. If this section is wet the trail may be hard to follow. Generally head south until you find the wooden steps heading uphill.
The trail then enters a section of trees the circles back uphill until you reach an overlook with stunning views of the park. Continue following the trail while taking in the views and looking for bison.
The trail then crosses the scenic road and winds along the road until you reach a parking lot for the River Bend Overlook. Here there is a short trail to an old CCC shelter with expansive views of the Little Missouri and south side of the park.
Go to the east end of the parking lot where the trail is right next to the guardrail for the road. The trail then heads right and down a steep incline before following a narrow ridge. This section of the trail can be hard to follow, but look for round wooden posts serving as stairs to let you know you are on the trail. Also, you'll cross a few layers of bentonite, and if they are wet, they can be very slippery.
Continue onward, trying to not fall of off the trail while taking in the sights. The trail drops steeply downhill until you reach the Scenic Road and the parking lot you started at. Don't forget to sign out at the register.
Bison! Deer, coyotes, mountain lion, longhorn cattle.