Featuring the picture-perfect scenery of the neighboring Badlands, Little Missouri State Park is the perfect place for a quiet RV getaway. Known for being a park on the primitive side, Little Missouri State Park has an undeveloped charm that will take you back in time. The landscape is sculpted with formations that offer some of North Dakota’s most awe-inspiring scenery, so if you’re looking for a rugged oasis, they don't come much better than Little Missouri State Park.
Most of the visitors to the 4,600-acre park are attracted to it due to the amazing hiking and horseback riding opportunities. There are over 40 miles of marked trails that weave through the park, and you are bound to see some of the local wildlife and horseback riders enjoying their time in the great outdoors. Other popular activities at Little Missouri State Park include taking photos of the incredible Badlands terrain and bike riding.
The campground within Little Missouri State Park is on the smaller side and suitable for RVs, tents, and equestrian camping so there will be an option for anyone and everyone. During the wintertime, the park closes due to rough weather conditions so you will only be able to visit Little Missouri State Park during the peak season of May through to October.
Driving to Little Missouri State Park is very easy since it is located right off North Dakota Highway 22. The roads in and around the park are kept in great condition, and you should have no trouble navigating them to the campground or parking lot. Just coming up to this park, you will be astounded by the breathtaking views. The roads on the way to the park tend to not be too busy, except for occasional oil trucks.
If you need to stop and get supplies before your journey there are a few small towns that you can pop into, including Mandaree (around 18 miles away), Killdeer (around 20 miles away), and Dunn Center (around 29 miles away). The closest city to the park is Dickenson, which is around 56 miles to the south.
There is plenty of parking available if you are just visiting for the day so you won't have to worry about not having a place to park your rig. During the winter months, the park is closed since the snowfall level within the park is very large, so you won't be able to drive here during this time.
Reservations for camping can be made for the beginning of May and throughout October. The provided amenities include electric hookups and vault toilets. Visitors are also welcome to utilize pay showers, and RVs are encouraged to use the dump station. Little Missouri State Park is almost first and foremost for equestrian use, but other “beasts” are able to find refuge here for a few nights, as well. Water is found at the park entrance (or around the park) but not at campgrounds, so it is best to gather before going to your site.
RVs and trailers of varying sizes are able to maneuver through the grounds, however, be prepared to share hookups with neighbors. This can make quarters a little more crowded than you were originally anticipating. There is still plenty of room to make any slide out adjustments, especially when the park isn’t as busy. Don’t be surprised if you come across some horses here as well. You can pretty much guarantee you’ll be seeing quite a few of them during your stay.
Planning on visiting Little Missouri State Park with a group? The campground has some fantastic group accommodation options that are well worth checking out. There are a total of four group campsites, two of which are on the smaller side and two that are on the larger side. The smaller sites are suitable for three RVs per site, while the larger ones can accommodate up to five RVs. The two different shelter sizes vary in price and are available during the peak season only.
All of the campsites within Little Missouri State Park operate are available via reservation so there are no specific first-come, first-served sites for you to choose from. Despite this, if you are still interested in camping without a reservation, any of the sites that haven't been taken are available on a walk-in basis. Since the campground is on the smaller side, it is recommended that you don't rely on first-come, first-served camping otherwise you could miss out.
If you are a horse lover and are deciding whether or not to bring your majestic creature to the park, rest assured that you will have a place to camp since there are plenty of sites suited for equestrian camping.
The park is highly geared toward travelers on horseback, and the campground is one of the best in the state for accommodating your animal. If you decide to bring your horse, you will have to bring your own feed but there are troughs available for easy drinking water access, and if you are lucky there might be some hay in the hay shed too. Like all of the camping areas within Little Missouri State Park, reservations are highly recommended, and the campground is open from May until October each year.
Little Missouri State Park is one of the most popular parks in the whole state for horseback riding with many people visiting for this reason. The badlands make for incredible terrain to view while you are on top of your horse, and there are over 47 miles of trails waiting for you to explore. Once you are finished your horseback riding adventure, there are plenty of great facilities within the campground that you can make the most of, including a horse corral and hay that you can purchase.
If you are interested in seeing what animals call the park home you will have to pack your binoculars and do some wildlife viewing during your visit. Since Little Missouri State Park has around 4,600 acres within its boundaries, you will have plenty of great wildlife viewing opportunities on the trails and in wooded areas. There are plenty of bird species that you can find nesting in the trees or flying above, including eagles and hawks, while on the ground at dawn and dusk there are deer, coyotes, and even bobcats searching for their next meal.
Wherever there are trails found in the park, you are free to take your bike. Certain trails may be marked, but, as a standard, you can count on taking your bike anywhere. These lands are rather rugged, so most of the “getting around” is done without a standard vehicle. For those looking to dig deeper into these badlands, bicycling offers a fun and speedy outlet. You will have to bring your own bike if you are interested in riding since there are none available for rent.
Remember to pack your camera before making your journey to Little Missouri State Park as there are plenty of great photo opportunities. The Badlands are perfect for nature photography enthusiasts, and there are also plenty of great wildlife viewing opportunities on the parks many trails. If you are looking for more places to shoot when in the area, you can also ask one of the friendly park staff for their top picks.
The over 47 miles of trails within the park are fantastic for hikers who are up for a challenge. Trails are all marked at major intersections along the route and are restricted from vehicular use. When hiking the trails, be sure to bring along enough drinking water, be on the lookout for rattlesnakes, and give all livestock you encounter some ample distance. If you aren't confident in your hiking ability, remember not to venture too far away from the park office.
Despite Little Missouri State Park being closed in the wintertime, there are some great snowshoeing opportunities in the surrounding area. Snowshoeing is a popular activity among hikers who want to enjoy a stroll without having to worry about trudging through the deep snow. Since the park won't be open during this time, you will have to bring your own snowshoes if you are in the area as there will be no rentals available.