The hearty spirit of the Old West lives on in North Dakota. This state’s roads cruise through the Great Plains, the magnificent twisted landscape of the Badlands, as well as farmlands. Motorcyclists will find natural beauty is everywhere in North Dakota, which has more wildlife refuges than any other state in the nation.
Riders can see the magnificent unworldly beauty of the North Dakota Badlands in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which is named after our nation’s 26th president. This park is home to a variety of wild animals including some very iconic denizens of the Old West, such as prairie dogs, wild horses, pronghorn antelope, and bison.
The Theodore Roosevelt National Park is divided into three units, the South, North and Elkhorn Ranch Units. The South Unit features a 36-mile Scenic Loop Drive and is also the site of the Painted Canyon Visitor Center, which is located off of Interstate 94 at Exit 34. This visitor center overlooks the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and offers spectacular panoramic views of the Badlands.
This park’s North Unit also features a 14-mile scenic drive and a visitor center. The Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s North Unit is located on U.S. Highway 85, about 16 miles south of Watford City.
The Elkhorn Ranch Unit entrance is located on gravel roads, and riders should consult with a ranger at one of the park’s visitor centers before attempting this route.
Motorcyclists looking for something completely different than the natural wilderness and wildlife of Theodore Roosevelt National Park will want to head over to the state’s very unique Enchanted Highway. This 32-mile road, which is located in Regent, is lined with the world’s largest metal sculptures. As of 2012, there were seven of these sculptures -- all of which were created by an artist named Gary Greff. The first sculpture Greff created for this road was The Tin Family, which he built in 1991. This sculpture group’s tallest member is 45 feet tall.
The other six gigantic metal sculptures are named Teddy Rides Again, Pheasants on the Prairie, Grasshoppers in the Field, Geese in Flight, Deer Crossing, and Fisherman’s Dream. To get to this strange world of giant beings, motorcyclists will take Interstate 94 to Exit 72 for the Enchanted Highway. The first sculpture riders will come upon will be Geese in Flight.
Riders looking for beautiful scenery, rolling hills, curvy roads and elevation changes will enjoy the 64-mile Killdeer Mountain Four Bears Scenic Byway, which is made up of Highways 22 and 23. This route takes riders to the top of Crow Flies High Butte -- which boasts gorgeous views of the Four Bears Bridge and Lake Sakakawea -- and to the spectacular badlands of Little Missouri State Park. To enjoy this byway, riders should get on Highway 22, north of Manning, to Highway 23, which they will then take east to New Town.
North Dakota has a number of motorcycle rallies, shows and other events, including the North Dakota State HOG Rally, which is held in July in Minot. The two—day event features plenty of rides and vendors. Of course, many bikers also make it a point to attend neighboring South Dakota’s huge Sturgis Rally in August.
Disclaimer: All information is provided as a service to motorcycle riders, and the opinions expressed here are subjective. Although we have tried to research this information thoroughly, it is possible that changing circumstances can cause this information to become inaccurate. In addition, the conditions and roads described can change without notice for a number of reasons, including closings, weather conditions and maintenance. Motorcycle events such as rallies and rides may also be cancelled or dates changed without notice, as well. This site is not responsible for these types of circumstances, which are beyond our control, and riders relying on this information will be doing so at their own risk. This site is not liable for any actions a rider takes based on the information provided here. Please consult other sources before heading out on these roads and do not use the directions given here as a map, as again, circumstances may have affected their accuracy.
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