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.
Above: The Rough Riders (spelled with a space, like the sign above the door) Hotel in 2013. Below: that’s the same hotel, on the left, 99 years earlier in 1914.
Theodore Roosevelt once rented the room upstairs.
Board sidewalks in Medora.
Marquis de Mores
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media
Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy