Welcome to SP!  -
Big Plateau Trail & Mike Auney Trail
Route

Big Plateau Trail & Mike Auney Trail

 
Big Plateau Trail & Mike Auney Trail

Page Type: Route

Location: North Dakota, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 47.00707°N / 103.50536°W

Object Title: Big Plateau Trail & Mike Auney Trail

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Difficulty: Hike

Route Quality: 
 - 0 Votes
 

 

Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Nov 5, 2016 / Oct 27, 2017

Object ID: 987002

Hits: 357 

Page Score: 81.84%  - 14 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

Overview

Big Plateau Trail

Big Plateau Trail branches off of Maah Daah Hey Trail on top of a grassy plateau. It heads southeast and quickly drops 140 ft to a lower plateau that houses a big prairie dog town. It then continues in a southeasterly direction to the edge of the lower plateau where it drops another 270 ft to cross Little Missouri River (no bridge, you must ford the river). The trail ends at Peaceful Valley on the banks of the river near the park main road.




Mike Auney Trail

Mike Auney Trail branches off of Maah Daah Hey Trail on top of a grassy plateau (0.6 miles to the north of Big Plateau Trail). It heads northeast going to the edge of the plateau where it drops 470 ft to reach Little Missouri River. After crossing the river (no bridge, you must ford the river), the trail goes up the hills on the east side of the river 150 vertical feet or so to end at Roundup Horse Camp Trailhead.

Getting There

Peaceful Valley Trailhead gives access to Big Plateau Trail. It is well marked on the park’s main road (see map).

Roundup Horse Camp Trailhead gives access to Mike Auney Trail. From Park’s main road, turn north onto East River Road (a well graded dirt road) and go a little more than a mile to reach Roundup Horse Camp Road. When I was in the area, the gate on Horse Camp Road was actually closed with a sign saying open for group reservations only (see map, I actually hiked the road as part of a long one way hike on many trails in the park). The trailhead is 1.1 miles from this gate.



Big Plateau Trail

All distances are per my GPS.

Place
Elevation
Distance
Junction with Maah Daah Hey Trail
2700 ft
zero miles
Peaceful Valley on the banks of Little Missouri River
2250 ft
2.30 miles




Big Plateau Trail branches off of Maah Daah Hey Trail on top of a grassy plateau and goes down roughly 150 vertical feet to a lower plateau.

Going down the plateau
 
Big Plateau Trail
 


The lower plateau houses a large prairie dog town.

Prairie Dogs
Prairie dogs
The big plateau
Big Plateau


The trail then reaches the edge of the lower plateau and goes down a hilly area.

Going down to the river
 
going down to the river
 


Little Missouri River. When I crossed the river in September of 2016, it was knee deep. At times of high water, the river may be deeper making the crossing difficult. Check with park service. On the east side of the river, the trail goes a short distance to end at Peaceful Valley parking area.

Little Missouri River
Fording Little Missouri River
Fording Little Missouri River
Fording Little Missouri River


Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey


Mike Auney Trail

All distances are per my GPS.

Place
Elevation
Distance
Junction with Maah Daah Hey Trail
2700 ft
zero miles
Little Missouri River
2230 ft
1.85 miles
Roundup Horse Camp
2370 ft
1.25 miles
Total One Way
-
3.10 miles




Mike Auney Trail branches off of Maah Daah Hey Trail on top of a grassy plateau. For the first half mile or so, the trail remains on top of the plateau. A beaten path may not be seen but you can follow wood posts that mark the trail. At the edge of the plateau, the trail becomes apparent.

Mike Auney Trail
 
Mike Auney Trail
 


The trail goes into the hills and ultimately drops more than 450 vertical feet to reach Little Missouri River.

Mike Auney Trail
 
Mike Auney Trail
 
Mike Auney Trail
 
Mike Auney Trail
 

Mike Auney Trail
 


This guy stared at me from a distance.

Deer? Elk?
 


Little Missouri River. When I crossed the river in September of 2016, it was knee deep. At times of high water, the river may be deeper making the crossing difficult. Check with park service.

Fording Little Missouri River
Fording Little Missouri River
Fording Little Missouri River
Fording Little Missouri River


On the east side of the river, the trail goes up the hills to end at Roundup Horse Camp Trailhead.

Looking Back at the valley of Little Missouri River
 
Mike Auney Trail
 
Mike Auney Trail
 
Mike Auney Trail
 

Images

Deer? Elk?Mike Auney TrailLittle Missouri RiverMike Auney TrailMike Auney TrailMike Auney TrailMike Auney Trail
Wild TurkeyPrairie Dogsgoing down to the riverLooking Back at the valley of Little Missouri RiverMike Auney TrailMike Auney TrailGoing down the plateau
[ View Gallery - 9 More Images ]