From the rolling prairies of North Dakota Badlands to the tall bends near the Pembina River, North Dakota’s awe-inspiring views and off-the-beaten path adventures pair together for a summer to remember. Embark in the state’s wide-open spaces, revel in sunflower fields as far as the eye can see and watch in awe as majestic wildlife roam in their natural environments. Home to some of the country’s most inspiring terrain, summer is an ideal time to explore the legendary wonders that make the state a restorative escape.
Crow Flies High Butte – New Town, ND
Just west of New Town, this outlook provides unobstructed views of Lake Sakakawea and the Badlands bluffs. The view is breathtaking no matter what time of year and includes a glimpse of the Four Bears Memorial Bridge spanning across the water. Along with stunning views, Crow Flies High Butte also has historical significance as it was once used as a lookout by famous explorers Lewis and Clark.
Starry Nights – Bottineau, ND
Experience not only some of the darkest skies in the U.S. but some of the nation’s best views of the spectacular aurora borealis also known as Northern Lights. Camp under the stars at Lake Metigoshe State Park in Bottineau and make a stop at the nearby town of Rugby’s Northern Lights Tower and Interpretive Center, which is dedicated to the dancing night skies. Visitors to the region can also partake in the Lake Metigoshe Outdoor Learning Center, which offers hands-on programming related to history, nature and recreation.
Rendezvous Region Scenic Backway – Walhalla, ND
Located in northeast North Dakota, this backway is a special place with a storied history, recreation and scenic beauty. Winding along the banks of the Pembina River this scenic backway offers several opportunities to take in the panoramic views of the Pembina Gorge. Recreation in the Pembina Gorge includes canoeing, hiking, biking, horseback riding and wildlife observing.
Badlands Overlook – Medora, ND
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a place where visitors become fully immersed in the one-of-a-kind terrain that mesmerized our nation’s “conservation president.” The old western town of Medora, where Theodore Roosevelt once wore the boots of a deputy sheriff, is the gateway to the national park. This year, take part in the park’s 69th Annual Birdwalk on Sunday, June 4. Participants depart from the South Unit and are invited to take in the sights of more than 40 different bird species.
Painted Canyon Overlook – Belfield, ND
There is no hiking required to see one of the state’s most iconic views. Painted Canyon Overlook, right off Interstate 94 near Medora, offers one of the most breathtaking views of the Badlands. Known for its formation of red, brown, white and orange rock, this is a must-see vista while exploring the region. Complete with a visitors center featuring information and exhibits, Painted Canyon Overlook is one of the most accessible areas of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and is free to the public.
For more information on North Dakota’s scenic views and to plan a one-of-a-kind summer road trip, visit NDTourism.com or browse the 2023 Travel Guide.
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