Camping in North Dakota

Visit the heart of farm country to experience midwestern hospitality and unique outdoor experiences.

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Camping in North Dakota guide


North Dakota is home to wide open spaces where visitors can find some incredible parks, waterways, and places to camp. The badlands and inhabiting wildlife are a highlight on any trip, setting the scene for amazing hiking and biking trails. Many campers come in the fall for pheasant hunting, with some trying their hand at locating big whitetail bucks. Between hikes and hunts, North Dakota offers fish to catch and friendly towns to visit, including Bismarck, Grand Forks, and Fargo. Scenic drives and the rolling fields make North Dakota an enticing camping destination from spring through fall.

Where to go

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

If you travel through North Dakota, stop to experience Theodore Roosevelt National Park, a treasure that should be high on the list of every national park enthusiast. The badlands are stunning with unique geological features, canyons, water, trails, and some of America’s most incredible native wildlife. The trail systems are some of the best in the country, and mountain bikers will find extensive single track. Hiking trails and scenic drives make it possible to catch the park’s best views from additional vantage points.

Grahams Island State Park

With nearly 1,000 acres on its lakeshore, Devil’s Lake is recognized as one of the best fisheries in the state and a hot spot for anglers visiting to compete in tournaments. The boat ramps make it an ideal lake for campers bringing watercraft, while the Grahams Lake campground has both primitive sites and others with full hookups, bathroom access, and potable water. Trail systems are perfect for hiking through the woods and along the lakeshore.

Sully Creek State Park

On the Little Missouri River south of Medora, Sully Creek State Park combines rivers and cliffs in a dramatic Badlands scene. The river flows rise during spring, when visitors come to canoe through the scenic canyons and bottomlands. Exploring the trails on foot or horseback are also popular here. Situated just outside of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the Sully Creek campground is perfect for exploring the wider area.

Turtle River State Park

Staying on theme with the excellent range of state parks in North Dakota, this one is located near the Minnesota border, where Grand Forks and the small community of Arvilla serve as easy starting points. The Turtle River offers great trout fishing throughout summer and fall, while 11 park trails are managed for hiking and biking during summer and cross-country skiing in winter. Primitive Turtle Creek campsites are abundant, and others feature space for groups or electricity and water hookups. Overall, this is an idyllic park in the eastern part of the state.

When to go

North Dakota has four seasons of fun and visiting really depends on your specific desires. Late spring is often nice and mellow with quiet parks to visit, and as summer arrives, the heat and humidity are elevated but the cold-water lakes and rivers offer refuge. Summer hiking, biking, and boating make for a ton of camping fun in North Dakota. Fall might be the best season to visit, especially for hunters, but by the time winter arrives, the state is bitterly cold, which draws those looking for cross-country skiing and snowboarding.

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