North Dakota September 27, 2018
This Scenic Road Trip Will Take You To All 7 Wonders Of North Dakota
North Dakota has many awesome attractions and things to see, but there are a few that have really come out on top as some of the state’s wonders. Though these might not be part of the Seven Wonders of the World, they certainly can be considered the wonders of North Dakota! We’ve put together a route that’ll take you to every one of them on one big, epic road trip:
The 7 Wonders of North Dakota road trip will take you across nearly the entire state.
For the full route and directions,
The route is approximately 670 miles long, so you will probably want to split it up over multiple days to get enough time at each stop to fully experience them.
Starting from the western side of North Dakota, the road trip will begin in the town of Medora.
Medora is one of if not the most popular tourist town in North Dakota. What makes it such a busy place with visitors? A combination of the beautiful badlands, the old west atmosphere, and the history of the town. This is a place where former president Theodore Roosevelt totally fell in love with for the grand landscapes and wonderful locals. The South Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park has herds of bison, wild horses, pronghorn, and even more wildlife. The painted canyons serving as the backdrop to it all is the icing on the cake. It is certainly a wonder of North Dakota.
After that, you'll head north towards Watford City and through the Little Missouri National Grassland to the North Unit of the park.
This is the lesser appreciated yet equally as impressive part of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The views are truly breathtaking, and there are great scenic overlooks you can visit to see them. The unique geological formations come together to form a place that only North Dakota has, and it's awe-inspiring.
Once you've gotten the chance to experience the badlands, you'll head west across the Missouri River and to the place where it becomes Lake Sakakawea.
Lake Sakakawea is the largest lake in the entire state and the third largest manmade lake in the country. It has more miles of coastline than the entire state of California, believe it or not! The road trip will take you to Fort Stevenson State Park, not far from the Garrison Dam that forms the lake, but there are multiple other state parks, recreation areas, resorts, and more along the lakeshore that can give you the same experience. Lake Sakakawea is just that impressive - and fun to visit!
After you've had some time at that massive lake, you will continue north east towards a spot only North Dakota can say it has: the geographical center of the entire North American continent.
Rugby, North Dakota has laid claim to the monument for the geographical center of North America. From the most southern tip of Mexico, to the farther northern point of Canada, and the most extreme east and west sides of the United States, the center of it all lies in good old North Dakota. Rugby itself is a pretty fun place to visit, too, with shops, restaurants, and more.
From the center of the continent you'll head straight north to a garden that two of the continent's countries share, the International Peace Garden.
Located in the small town of Dunseith, the International Peace Garden straddles the border of North Dakota and Canada. There is a whole lot more here than impeccable flower beds. Beautiful monuments, statues, fountains, and greenhouses full of plants from all over the two countries are just a few of the many things you can view here. It is considered one of the state's most underrated attractions and when you see it in person you'll understand why it could be considered a wonder.
Continuing on from the gardens, you'll head to a more natural area that shows off some of the diverse natural beauty of ND: the Pembina Gorge.
This place is especially stunning in the fall, but any time of the year is a good time to visit the Pembina Gorge and surrounding areas. From the more shallow valleys to steep wooded slopes, the Pembina River winds through the scenery and creates such a wonderful place. Nearby towns such as Walhalla, Cavalier, and Pembina are some of the oldest in the state. The town of Pembina specifically is the oldest settlement in both North and South Dakota, back when they were still considered the Dakota Territory. The history here along with the magnificent scenery definitely make it a North Dakota wonder.
For the last of the 7 wonders, you will head south west to Jamestown to see the most famous of North Dakota's many "world's largest" statues: the World's Largest Buffalo.
This ginormous statue, also known as Dakota Thunder, was built in 1959 and stands tall on a hilltop looking over Jamestown. Not only that, but it is right next to an area with a real bison herd that continues rare white bison and at one point had the only known true albino bison, White Cloud. Today, you can visit the statue, the bison herd, the National Buffalo Museum, and even Frontier Village all in the same spot.
What other places would you add to this road trip as wonders of North Dakota? This state is full of amazing places to visit, from the
small towns to the big cities.