Established in 1971, Little Missouri State Park is one of the newest state parks in North Dakota. Perhaps because it is a relatively young park, there are not too many structures within the area. However, with its many spectacular sights, especially the Badlands, it certainly has a lot to offer.
Covering a sprawling 5,749 acres of badlands and woodlands, Little Missouri State Park has areas for 30 campsites, including those for RVs and tents, as well as picnic shelters. The larger area, however, is reserved for the 47 miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding passing through the badlands, prairies, and wooded areas.
Fire rings, pit toilets, and running water are available for campers. Electric hookups are likewise available although not in all campsites. Horseback riders, on the other hand, will find artesian wells along the trail for watering their mounts.
There are horses at rental concessions within the park from which you can select your mount. If, however, you have your own horse, you can bring it to the park. Corrals are available for them where they can rest after your ride.
Horseback riding and hiking are the two main activities in Little Missouri State Park, getting you through the backcountry where you can spot plenty of wild animals and birds. At dusk and dawn, you are likely to see bobcats prowling as well as mule deer foraging, while you will find coyotes day or night.
Birders will also enjoy watching bald and golden eagles and prairie falcons soar into the sky, or the cedar waxwing male and female passing flower petals or insects back and forth during their courtship.
You will find that primitive camping sites outnumber those with modern amenities. Of the former, some can be accessed only on foot or horseback where you can live almost like the cowboys of the Old West. You may want, however, to carry your portable stoves with their propane fuels in small canisters so you won’t have to gather firewood. The tamer campgrounds include electric hook ups for your RVs as well water supply and toilets.