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North Dakota travel guide

About North Dakota

Badlands and bison, offbeat cities and spectacular scenery, Old West tales and Native American heritage: North Dakota inspires adventure.

Humongous elk, furry bison, wild horses, poisonous rattlesnakes and packs of coyotes are among the assorted inhabitants of the state’s crown jewel, Theodore Roosevelt National Park. This remarkable badlands landscape is made up of three distinct areas, accessible by scenic roads, but more fun to discover on foot, horseback or canoe. You can encounter petrified forests, wind-carved canyons and prairie dog towns, or float through remote wilderness on the Little Missouri River.

The adventures don’t stop there. Lake Sakakawea is ripe for messing about on boats, while Devils Lake is one of the finest spots to hook walleye, northern pike and crappie. Bumping over badlands and prairies, the 225km (140mile) Maah Daah Hey Trail is a mountain biker’s paradise. And if you’re looking for hardcore action, there’s the so-called ENDracing phenomenon, a series of endurance tests ranging from a winter triathlon to a 58km (36mile) river swim.

North Dakota may not be the first place you think of when it comes to teeing off, but it claims more golf courses per capita than any other state (not such an impressive record given its sparse population). You can follow in the footsteps of 19th century explorers Lewis and Clark on a golf trail named in their honour, although whether the two pioneers bothered to pack their clubs is questionable.

Grab an urban hit in Fargo, home to the terrific Plains Art Museum, or discover dinosaurs, a homestead shack and a 1950s soda shop at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck.

Key facts

Area:

183,110 sq km (70,699 sq miles).

Population:

756,927 (2015).

Population density:

4.1 per sq km.

Capital:

Bismarck.