For people visiting the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Cottonwood Campground is a great place to stay. Located five miles (8 km) from the entrance to the South Unit of the park, the campground is open year-round. To make a reservation for the group site please visit this the Cottonwood Group Site (ND ) page.
Toilets, drinking water and picnic tables are provided at this facility. The site can accommodate tents, trailers and RVs. Sites can accommodate up to six people and two vehicles. There are no hookups or a dump station. A water fill station is available for campers (through October 1 each year). All wheeled vehicles and trailers must remain on roadways or pads. The Group Site (site #25) can accomodate 7-20 people and reservations are available the first business day of March for the upcoming summer season. Go to the Cottonwood Group Site (ND) to make reservations for the group site.
To make a reservation for the group site visit the Cottonwood Group Site (ND) page.
Entrance Fee. The park collects a separate park entrance fee of $30 per vehicle. Visitors may pay the fee upon arrival or purchase in advance. The fee is valid for seven days. The park also honors Federal interagency passes (e.g., annual, senior, access, 4th grade, Golden Age pass etc.). For more information visit the park's Fees & Passes web page.
Pass Discounts. If using an Interagency Senior or Access Pass for a camping fee discount, the pass must be present during stay at campground (Interagency Annual, Park Annual, Every Kid in a Park, and Interagency-Military do not receive a camping discount).
Group Site. Site 25 (the group site) goes on sale first business day of March for the Summer Season.
Check-in & Check-out Times. Check-in/out is 12:00 noon
Maximum Stay. During the busy season of May 1 through October 31, campers may stay a maximum of 14 night total in Cottonwood Campground and a maximum of 30 days total in a calendar year. This includes the non-reservation, self-registration season of November through April.
Vehicle (RV) Height over 13 feet (4 m). Trees and branches in the campground may not accommodate vehicles of this height. Camping equipment may experience significant damage for which the NPS is not responsible.
Generators. Generators hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Generators must have an effective muffler.
Water. Water is not always available by May or after October 1. The park does not offer a refund for the or price difference.
Site Capacity. Cottonwood Campground regular sites (excluding group site) max occupancy is 6 people and 2 vehicles. Walkin sites 1 vehicle max.
No Showers. There are no shower or laundry facilities located in the park.
Campfires. During hot and dry summer months, fire restrictions are common and campfires (including charcoal fires) may be prohibited.
Firewood. Firewood not for sale in park. The closest place to buy wood is in Medora, approximately 5.5 miles (9 km) away. Gathering of dead and downed firewood is allowed.
Don't Move Firewood: Help protect our forests! Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood at or near your destination and burning it on-site. Moving firewood is illegal in some states. Visit dontmovefirewood.org to learn more.
The Little Missouri River is the central, unifying feature of this wild and broken land where, as a young man, Theodore Roosevelt ranched and hunted in the 1880s. The park is part of both the Northern Great Plains and the West, blending a rich natural beauty with diverse human history. The rugged topography, with its flora and fauna, also provides an opportunity to discover the badlands environment as Roosevelt once did. It is a place to experience a land and way of life that helped shape Theodore Roosevelt's attitudes and philosophy regarding conservation. Cottonwood trees surrounding the campsite turn golden in the fall. Although the campground is moderately forested, most of the campsites are in partial to full sun but visitors can cool off in the cold river when temperatures peak during summer.
The town of Medora has shopping, restaurants, amenities and the Medora Musical is located approximately five miles (8 km) to the south. The Little Missouri National Grassland is the largest National Grassland in the nation at 1.03 million acres (416,826 ha). It is located in western North Dakota and is managed by the Medora Ranger District in Dickinson, ND and the McKenzie Ranger District in Watford City, ND. The National Grassland provides additional recreation opportunities in the area.
Hikers can access the estimated 70 miles (21 km) of trails within a short distance of the campground. Visit the Hiking and Trail Information page on the park website or stop at a Visitor Center for more details. Located immediately adjacent to the Little Missouri River and filled with Cottonwood trees bird watching in the campground can be a rewarding experience. Watch for Bison that can be seen traveling through the campground on their way to a stop at the river. Just a few miles from the campground is the Peaceful Valley Ranch. A former ranch from Theodore Roosevelt's time, the location also serves as one of the best sites in the park for outstanding night sky viewing.
PO Box 7 Medora ND 58645
315 2ND AVE MEDORA ND 58645
For campground inquiries, please call: 701-623-4466 (NOTE PARK DOES NOT TAKE RESERVATIONS)
The South Unit entrance is in Medora, ND. Medora is accessible via Interstate 94 Exits 24 and 27 in North Dakota. Please note exit 27 is a westbound exit only.
Medora is 133 miles (214 km) west of Bismarck, ND and 27 miles (43 km) east of the Montana state line.