Although I have attached this page to the page for Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the trails described here fall just outside the boundaries of the park.
Between Sully Creek and South Unit of the park
Maah Daah Hey is a 144 mile long non-motorized trail that goes from Burning Coal Campground 30 miles south of Medora, ND to the CCC Campground 16 miles south of Watford City, ND. The 5.7 mile section of the trail described here goes from Sully Creek State Park to the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park (Click to see the section of Maah Daah Hey Trail inside the South Unit
of the park). At Sully Creek State Park, the trail crosses Little Missouri River, no bridge, you must ford the river.
Just south of Sully Creek
Immediately south of Sully Creek State Park, Maah Daah Hey Trail goes up 250 vertical feet to the top of a butte that rises very abruptly above Little Missouri River. Hiking this 1.5 mile section of the trail will provide you with fantastic views of the river and the surrounding badlands.
Sully Creek State Park
From Medora, ND, turn south onto East River Rd S and drive a few miles then turn right onto Sully Creek State Park.
Maah Daah Hey Trailhead at the border of the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
I saw no designated parking area or any signs for Maah Daah Hey trail from the road. See map. The trail started at the junction of I-94 east bound ramp at Exit 24 and Pacific Avenue north of Andrews Creek. I found a parking area just south of the trailhead where a paved bike trail reached Pacific Ave. Space for parking also seemed to be available on the west bound I-94 ramp. Once I hiked a short distance down the trail toward Andrews Creek, I saw a sign identifying the trail as Maah Daah Hey.
Sully Creek State Park to South Unit of Theodore Roosevent National Park
This is a description of Maah Daah Hey Trail from the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park to Sully Creek State Park.
All distances are per my GPS
|Jct. Buffalo Gap Trail
|Sully Creek Trailhead
|Total One Way
The trail heads south going under Pacific Avenue’s bridge over Andrews Creek and follows the creek for a short time.
It then starts climbing the hills getting away from I-94 and the traffic noise.
Continue on the trail in the badlands.
After a couple of switchbacks, you will reach the highest part of this section of the trail at the junction with Buffalo Gap Trail.
Looking north from the high point.
South side of the high point.
The trail goes down the hill quickly and begins to look like an abandoned dirt road.
At a well marked spot, the trail leaves the dirt road and goes toward the river.
Trees along Little Missouri River.
Follow the trail on the banks of the river.
The big butte on the south side of Sully Creek State Park will now come to view.
Butte to the south of Sully Creek State Park
You will soon have to ford the river. When I did this hike in September, the water was knee deep. At times of high water, the river may be deeper. Check with the park service.
End of this section of the trail at Sully Creek State Park.
Fording the river |
Sully Creek State Park
South of Sully Creek State Park
The big butte from Sully Creek State Park.
Head south on the trail into a forested area climbing the butte.
Walls of the butte.
You will then reach the flat top of the butte where you will have spectacular views of Little Missouri River, the badlands and a nearby golf course.