Welcome to SP!  -
Paddock Creek Trail and Rim Trail
Route

Paddock Creek Trail and Rim Trail

 
Paddock Creek Trail and Rim Trail

Page Type: Route

Location: North Dakota, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 46.95260°N / 103.49486°W

Object Title: Paddock Creek Trail and Rim Trail

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Hike

Route Quality: 
 - 0 Votes
 

 

Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Oct 14, 2016 / Oct 27, 2017

Object ID: 985223

Hits: 361 

Page Score: 78.27%  - 9 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

Overview

Paddock Creek Trail

Paddock Creek is a 10.6 mile long trail in the south unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It follows Paddock Creek connecting Halliday Trailhead to the west to Rim Trail to the east. The park’s main road crosses the trail dividing it into the 3.8 mile long Lower Paddock Creek Trail to the west of the road and the 6.8 mile long Upper Paddock Creek Trail to the east of the road.

Rim Trail

Rim Trail sits at the extreme eastern edge of the south unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It connects Paddock Creek Trail to Talkington Trail. To the east of Rim Trail, flat grasslands stretch into the horizon. To the west, the ground suddenly drops 200 ft to where the badlands suddenly start.

Getting There

Halliday Trailhead is well marked on the park’s map. See map below.
I did not see a parking area where the road divides Paddock Creek into Upper and Lower sections.



Red line shows Rim Trail. Black line is the correct path for where I went the wrong way.

Paddock Creek Trail

All distances are per my GPS. These are different than what appears on the park’s map. I lost the trail at the end of the section between Painted Canyon and Rim Trails so I used the 3.2 mile distance that appears on the park map.

Place
Elevation
Distance
Halliday Trailhead
2270 ft
zero miles
Park Rd.
2340 ft
3.80 miles
Jct. with Painted Canyon Trail
2480 ft
3.60 miles
Jct. with Rim Trail
2820 ft
3.20 miles
Total One Way
-
10.60 miles



This is a description of Paddock Creek trail from Halliday trailhead to the junction with Rim Trail. At Halliday Trailhead head east and follow the trail into the hills going through a prairie dog town.

On Paddock Creek Trail
 


Looking back west at the Little Missouri River Valley.

Little Missouri River Valley
 


Badlands.

On Paddock Creek Trail
 
Lower Paddock Creek Trail
 
Lower Paddock Creek Trail
 
Lower Paddock Creek Trail
 


Paddock Creek. A couple of creek crossings were very muddy.

Paddock Creek
 
Paddock Creek
 

Paddock Creek
 


Lower Paddock Creek Trail ends once you reach the park’s main road.

Lower Paddock Creek Trail
 
Lower Paddock Creek Trail
 


You will follow Upper Paddock Creek Trail after crossing the road.

Upper Paddock Creek Trail
 


Standing water.

Upper Paddock Creek Trail
 
Upper Paddock Creek Trail
 


Badlands.

Upper Paddock Creek Trail
 
Upper Paddock Creek Trail
 
Upper Paddock Creek Trail
 
Upper Paddock Creek Trail
 


Paddock Creek.

Paddock Creek
 
Paddock Creek
 


Near the junction with Painted Canyon Trail.

Upper Paddock Creek Trail
 
Upper Paddock Creek Trail
 


Continuing east on the trail.

Upper Paddock Creek Trail
 
Upper Paddock Creek Trail
 


A plateau can now be seen to the south. Painted Canyon Visitor Center/ Rest Area on I-94 sits on top of this plateau.

Painted Canyon Rest Area on I-94
 


The trail then reaches an area of steep hills and begins to climb them.

Steep hills on Upper Paddock Creek Trail
 


View from the top of the steep hills.

From the top of the steep hills
 
From the top of the steep hills
 

From the top of the steep hills
 


After reaching a high point, the trail goes down again.

Saddle on Upper Paddock Creek Trail
 
From the saddle on Upper Paddock Creek Trail
 


Once I reached the base of a hill, trails seemed to go in every direction. The one that I happened to follow took me out of the badlands to the top of the grassy plateau near I-94. I later realized that I had taken the wrong trail but I was able to hike the edge of the plateau to reach where Upper Paddock Creek Trail came up to the plateau where Rim Trail started.
Looking back into the badlands from the edge of the grassy plateau.

From the edge of the plateau
 

Rim Trail

Place
Elevation
Distance
Jct. with Paddock Creek Trail
2820 ft
zero miles
Jct. with Talkington Trail
2800 ft
2.10 miles



Rim Trail travels the surface of a grassy plateau. To the east, only flat grasslands can be seen. Badlands make good views where the trail reaches the edge of the plateau.
Badlands from Rim Trail
 
Flat Grasslands from Rim Trail
 

Images

Paddock CreekUpper Paddock Creek TrailOn Paddock Creek TrailSteep hills on Upper Paddock Creek TrailFrom the top of the steep hillsFrom the saddle on Upper Paddock Creek TrailLower Paddock Creek Trail
Upper Paddock Creek TrailFrom the top of the steep hillsLower Paddock Creek TrailPaddock CreekFrom the edge of the plateauUpper Paddock Creek TrailLower Paddock Creek Trail
[ View Gallery - 20 More Images ]