Painted Canyon Trail

Page Type
Route
Location:
North Dakota, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hiking
Season:
Spring, Summer, Fall
Difficulty:
Hike

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Painted Canyon Trail
Created On: Oct 28, 2016
Last Edited On: Oct 27, 2017

Overview

Painted Canyon Scenic Viewpoint is a rest area on I-94 at the southern border of the South unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The viewpoint sits at the edge of a grassy plateau where you can look north to see the ground dropping 200 feet into colorful badlands. A 2.1 mile long trail goes from the viewpoint down into the badlands to reach Paddock Creek Trail.

Getting There

Take Exit 32 and turn north to reach Painted Canyon Visitor Center. Trailhead is signed at the eastern end of the parking area.



Route Description

Place
Elevation
Distance
Painted Canyon Visitor Center
2780 ft
zero miles
Jct. with Paddock Creek Trail
2480 ft
2.10 miles




Sunrise from Painted Canyon Scenic Viewpoint.

Painted Canyon Viewpoint


Go to the east end of the parking area where you will see a sign for Painted Canyon Trail. Follow the trail east at the edge of the plateau. Looking north into the badlands.

Painted Canyon from near the Viewpoint
Painted Canyon from near the Viewpoint

Painted Canyon from near the Viewpoint


After going past some sort of a facility, a trail branches left (north) and goes down into the badlands. This is the wrong way. Keep going east until the trail itself turns left and goes down into the badlands.

On Painted Canyon Trail


Down into Painted Canyon.

On Painted Canyon Trail
On Painted Canyon Trail
On Painted Canyon Trail
On Painted Canyon Trail


Continue on the trail until you reach the signed junction with Paddock Creek Trail.

On Painted Canyon Trail
On Painted Canyon Trail

Near the junction with Paddock Creek Trail



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