Dakota Prairie National Grasslands, ND: Maah Daah Hey Trail

Trek into colorful, twisting badlands.
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Trek into colorful, twisting badlands.

“We Midwestern backpackers spend a lot of time looking for routes that rise above the trees and deliver a view,” says Backpacker Map Contributor Stuart Peck. “That’s why the Maah Daah Hey Trail is special. The climbs are short and easy, and the views are nonstop.” This 97-mile point-to-point has sprawling prairie scenes interspersed with the starkly beautiful, striped-rock outcroppings of the badlands.

From Sully Creek State Park, just south of Medora, hike north through native mixed grass, watching for bighorn sheep on the buttes. Camp in four established sites (18 miles apart) with vault toilets and potable water, or plan to haul water (or cache at campsites near road crossings; see contact). More highlights: Glimpse the northern lights (early winter), bison, and feral horses.

Contact: Maah Daah Hey Trail Association; mdhta.com

-Info provided by Stuart Peck

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 169.8

Waypoints

MDH001

Location: 46.889777, -103.537817

From Sully Creek State Park, just south of Medora, hike north through native mixed grass, watching for bighorn sheep on the buttes.

MDH002

Location: 47.586339, -103.278705

The route ends at this trailhead west of US 85.