Medora, North Dakota

By / August 9, 2013 / Badlands, Medora, ND

Medora, North Dakota is the leading tourist attraction in the state, so perhaps it’s apropos the population is only 112.  This is the biggest, most diverse little town you’ll ever visit — the hotel rooms outnumber the bedrooms in this town, and the streets are chock full — complete with antique and gift shops, saloons, museums, wildlife, scenery… the list is endless.  But don’t expect the typical, there’s not a McDonalds or any other franchise joint for miles.

Medora is the epicenter of North Dakota Old West lore, boasting historic figures from Theodore Roosevelt, who came to Medora in 1883 to hunt bison,  to General Custer, who spent some of his final days here.  Painted Canyon is just down the Interstate.  The badlands scenery in Medora is incredible, and there’s a little something for everyone, from the musical to the pitchfork steak fondue.  There’s another gallery of badlands photos here.  We will likely visit many more times, because there is waaaayyyy more to see.

Medora, North Dakota Medora, North Dakota

Medora, 1914

Medora, North Dakota Medora, North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt once rented the room upstairs.

Medora, North Dakota Order the Book Medora, North Dakota Medora, North Dakota Medora, North Dakota Medora, North Dakota

Board sidewalks in Medora.

Medora, North Dakota

St. Mary’s

Medora, North Dakota Medora, North Dakota Medora, North Dakota Medora, North Dakota Medora, North Dakota

Marquis de Mores

Medora, North Dakota

Medora is the kind of place where the streets make way for the trees.

Medora, North Dakota

This is Medora in the morning. The sun had just broken over the bluffs on the left and illuminated the town in the trees below. The smokestack for the old meat-packing plant can be seen on the right.

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

About Author

Troy Larson

Troy Larson is a father, husband, author, photographer, publisher and devoted cat person. Troy is the President of Sonic Tremor Media and co-founder of


Gary Karpenko

this is the stop coming into North Dakota we always make as the enjoyment of town that has the past still here. I walk the town as good way to get some exercise from the ride off the hiway. It is nice to see how much care is given this town by the state as well as the people that live in and around here. Thanks for all the pictures

Kathleen (BERTSCH) Bennett

Medora is wonderful as is Thedore Roosevelt National Park. He would be proud.

John Stangeland

Lt. Col custer didn’t spend anytime in Medora, his short visit to the Badlands in 1876 predates Medora’s founding in 1883, but the Marquis de Mores should have been mentioned in his place. I love the area around Medora and south to the Logging Camp Ranch area.

James Ley

Medora is an awesome little town. I spent some time there during a summer while a student at Dickinson State College aka Dickinson State University. If the population is only 112 during the summer with the university students working there and the Medora Musical cast there, I am sure the population of the small town can get close to a thousand. One thing to be aware of is that prices are extremely high. I am not sure how the residents can live there year -around with prices being that high.

Barbara (Ramsey) McConnell

Oh the memories this brings! My friend and I spent part of a summer working in Medora at the Chuckwagon Cafeteria. We loved the old west theme with the wonderful street concerts featuring music of Bob Wills (cover bands), and others. Had a lot of fun there, and went into the Ntl Park many times, getting up close and personal with the prairie dogs and once, before the park opened for the season, ended up being surrounded on the road by a herd of buffalo! Took us nearly an hour to convince them to move so we could continue on our way! Would love to return one day to see it again!


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