10 BEST Medora Campgrounds 2024 – Exploring the Enchanting Badlands

Ah, Medora! Nestled in the heart of North Dakota, this picturesque town is a gateway to the rugged beauty of the Badlands. With its breathtaking landscapes and myriad outdoor activities, Medora is a haven for adventurers and nature lovers alike.

And if you’re venturing further into North Dakota, consider exploring the luxurious accommodations in Fargo, another gem of the state.

Let me take you back to a summer not so long ago when I pitched my tent under the vast, starlit sky of Medora. The crackling campfire, the distant howl of a coyote, and the gentle rustling of the Badlands’ grasses created a symphony that resonated with my very soul.

That night, as I lay gazing at the stars, I felt a connection to the land that words can hardly describe. It’s a memory that still warms my heart and one that I hope you’ll experience for yourself.



Medora’s campgrounds offer a diverse range of experiences for different types of campers. Whether you’re looking for a primitive site to connect with nature or a campground with amenities for your RV, Medora has something for everyone.

Campground Name Key Features Hiking Difficulty Important Safety Regulations
Cottonwood Campground Next to the Little Missouri river, no services at sites, clean bathrooms 🥾🥾🥾 Follow local fire safety guidelines
Sully Creek Campground Perfect base for visiting Theodore Roosevelt National Park, sites for horses 🥾🥾 $25/night for an electric site
Medora Campground Pull-through sites, close proximity between sites 🥾🥾🥾 Maintain proper sanitation; mind neighbor’s space
Wannagan Creek Cabins Ready to bring facilities 🥾🥾🥾🥾 Follow local guidelines
Juniper Campground First come first served, less crowded mid-week 🥾🥾 Observe park regulations
Kings Guest Ranch Set up for horse owners to camp and ride trails 🥾🥾🥾 Follow horse-use rules
Burning Coal Vein Campground 8 spots available for tents or campers 🥾🥾🥾 Limited availability; book in advance
Boots Campground Suitable for specific visitors 🥾 Check suitability before booking
Red Trail Campground Packed campground, close to TRNP and Medora 🥾🥾🥾 Consider alternative camping if too crowded

Cottonwood Campground

There’s a melody to nature that I’ve only ever heard at Cottonwood. Nestled by the Little Missouri River, the gentle rustle of leaves and the river’s flow create a symphony that resonates with the soul. It’s a place where the absence of services at the sites brings you closer to nature, while clean bathrooms ensure comfort.

Sully Creek Campground

Sully Creek Campground

Imagine exploring the Badlands the way Roosevelt did – from the back of a horse! Sully Creek makes this dream a reality, with special sites for campers with horses. Serving as an ideal base for visiting Theodore Roosevelt National Park, it offers both primitive sites and electric hookups, catering to various preferences.

Medora Campground

Medora Campground

One delightful evening around a campfire at Medora turned strangers into friends. Though the sites are close together, the sense of community is palpable, and the pull-through sites are a convenient option for larger RVs. It’s a place where stories are shared, and memories are made under the vast North Dakota sky.

Wannagan Creek Cabins

Wannagan Creek Cabin

The view from the top of a demanding trail at Wannagan Creek Cabins is a memory etched in my heart. If you’re up for a challenge, this is the place to be, with trails that test your mettle but reward you with breathtaking vistas. It’s more than just a campground; it’s an adventure waiting to unfold.

Juniper Campground

If tranquility is what you seek, Juniper might just be your haven. Mid-week during May, only a quarter of the spots were filled, offering a peaceful retreat in the north unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It’s a first-come, first-served campground, so the early bird gets the best spot!

Kings Guest Ranch

Kings Guest Ranch

The extraordinary trails surrounding Kings Guest Ranch have seen many a horse and rider explore the beauty of the Badlands. Set up specifically for horse owners to camp and ride, it’s a unique experience that I’ve found both thrilling and serene. There’s something magical about riding through the landscape, feeling a connection with both the horse and the land.

Burning Coal Vein Campground

Burning Coal Vein Campground

With only 8 spots available for tents or campers, Burning Coal Vein offers an exclusive camping experience. I remember the intimacy of a small campfire here, where every face was a friend’s. It’s a place where limited availability adds to the charm, making each stay feel special.

Boots Campground

Boots taught me that sometimes the unexpected leads to the most memorable experiences. Though it didn’t initially seem like the right fit for my needs, a change of plans led me down the street to this unique spot. It’s a place that caters to specific visitors, and I’m sure glad it catered to me that day.

Red Trail Campground

Red Trail Campground

Red Trail can get packed, but that’s part of what makes it lively and vibrant. Everything at TRNP and the little town of Medora was great, and though crowded, I found joy in the bustling energy of fellow campers. If you’re looking for a lively atmosphere close to local attractions, this might be the place for you.


Are Reservations Required? How Far In Advance Should One Book?

Reservations are not always required, but it’s wise to plan ahead, especially during peak seasons. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, for example, offers primitive campgrounds open year-round, but a free permit is needed for backcountry camping.

What Facilities Are Available At The Campgrounds?

The park’s campgrounds are rather primitive, offering a more authentic camping experience. While there are no hotels or cabins for rent within the park, nearby communities provide various lodging and dining options.

Is There Any Specific Wildlife To Be Cautious About?

Yes, the parks are home to bison, and their numbers range between 100 and 300 in the North Unit and 200 to 500 in the South Unit. While majestic to observe, it’s essential to maintain a safe distance and follow park guidelines to ensure both your safety and that of the wildlife.

Are Campfires Allowed? What Are The Fire Safety Guidelines?

Campfires are a cherished part of the camping experience, but it’s crucial to follow all fire safety rules and regulations. Always check the local guidelines, as they may vary depending on the season and location.


best campground in the world

Camping in Medora is more than just a getaway; it’s an experience that connects you to the raw beauty of the Badlands. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a curious explorer, Medora’s campgrounds offer something for everyone.

From the diversity of landscapes to the range of activities like hiking, wildlife viewing, and stargazing, Medora invites you to create your own unforgettable memories.

So pack your bags, grab your hiking boots, and come explore the natural wonders that await you in this unique corner of North Dakota. Let the starlit skies guide you to an adventure like no other, right here in our beautiful Medora.