Filtering by: Outings
to Sep 15

Overnight Outing: Prairie Fire Pottery

On Saturday, Sept. 14th, join the group at Buffalo Gap Campground (USFS campground just west of Medora, Exit 18, well signed) by 1 p.m. (Mountain time). We will caravan in cars to the top of Sentinel Butte, departing 1:30 p.m. Board member Connie Triplett will lead this portion of the outing. After butte-top gazing and conversation, the group will continue to Beach for cold drinks (provided by BCA) and a hot kiln!

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National Trails Day
to Jun 3

National Trails Day

Start: Saturday, June 2 at 11 am MT / 12 noon CT
End: Sunday, June 3 at 12 noon MT / 1 PM CT

A leisurely hike to the Needles Eye in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park will be led by board member Tama Smith. The group site in Cottonwood Campground has been reserved for Saturday night. With a site limit of 20 people, save your spot by rsvp-ing early to Jan at

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to Sep 17

Dakota Nights Festival and More

Friday, September 15, 2017, 7 pm CT - Sunday, September 17, 3 pm CT

Overnight camp at Cottonwood Campground in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  This is a busy weekend so strongly consider making camp site reservations at or by calling 877-444-6777.  Additional camping within Medora or at Sully Creek State Park 5 miles south of Medora.

This event is a highlight in TRNP’s interpretive year!  Evenings at the Festival will be filled with telescopes and star gazing.  BCA hikes to be determined once the TRNP schedule comes out.

Watch for further details as the dates approach.  Please RSVP to Jan at

Note - Dickinson State University's annual Theodore Roosevelt Symposium immediately precedes our event.  This year the focus is "Theodore Roosevelt: The Naturalist in the Arena."  Festivities begin Thursday evening the 14th with presentations and activities throughout the day on Friday.  A Saturday morning breakfast and short hike usually wraps up in Medora.  BCA encourages you to come early and take in the Symposium.  Watch for developing info here:

View the PDF for this event.

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to Jul 30

Short Ranch, East River Road and Magpie

Saturday, July 29, 2017, 10 am CT - Sunday, July 30, 2017, 3 pm CT

This outing should be a one of a kind opportunity.  Don’t miss it!

Please, note that we have made changes in the earlier itinerary due to circumstance and the ongoing high temperatures in western North Dakota.

Saturday, July 29

Start time:  10 am CT / 9 am MT - SHARP

We will meet up at the Chimney Park parking lot at the west end of beautiful downtown Medora and on the east side of the river.

It is highly advisable that you reserve a camp site prior to our meet up and before heading out for the day.  The Park campground fills quickly and all reservable sites are taken.  You may also want to consider Sully Creek State Park just five miles south of Medora:  A number of reservable sites are still available there.  Either place, first-come-first-served sites open up in the morning and you can claim one for your own by leaving a non-valuable item on the table and posting your pay-stub.

Our first stop is Camel Hump Lake at the Sentinel Butte exit off I-94 approximately 20 minutes west of Medora.  Here we will rendezvous with a Short Family member to head north into the Badlands - our destination the three alternative routes for Billings County’s proposed bridge crossing of the Little Missouri State Scenic River.  All three, including the “preferred alternative,” cross the rough terrain and river bottoms of this historic Badlands ranch.  This will be uncharted territory for many.

Options open to group discussion

We may spend much of the day with our Short Family tour guide exploring the ranch; but if there is time, the 218-acre Elkhorn Ranch Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park to the north and Twin Buttes Suitable for Wilderness to the south both beckon.  We’ll play it by ear and go with group wishes.  Depends on your heart’s calling and how well we have stocked up on water and snacks for the day so be generous in your planning!

Back in Medora

While evening will be free time, don’t miss the golden “animal hour,” a perfect time to drive the Park scenic road.  Or, there’s the nightly ranger presentation at the campground amphitheater.  The Little Missouri is so low this year it is an easy and beautiful stroll, as long as you have tough feet or some footwear you’re willing to get wet.

Whether a night owl or an early bird, you can expect to enjoy the Delta Auariid meteor shower, which will be at its height.  A waxing crescent moon won’t greatly hamper viewing and it sets around midnight if you want the full effect.

Sunday, July 30

Taking time for a hearty breakfast and to break camp, our next touch point is Mikes Creek along East River Road north of the Park, and shortly beyond we will see the Short Ranch from the east side of the river and note where the proposed bridge routes come out.  Sage brush flats in this area are beautiful and the fragrance heavenly.

Oil and gas development is increasing in the vicinity and we will do some investigative exploration on private conservation property.  Our discussion will include the potential for large scale planning in this area.

Our final destination will take us east on Blacktail Road to connect with Magpie Road and the USFS Magpie Campground where we are tentatively scheduled to meet with USFS personnel having firsthand experience on the Magpie Fire.  Wildfires are scary and destructive, but they also bring ecological benefits to the landscape.  The Magpie Fire was exacerbated by drought in western North Dakota.  If all works as anticipated, we will hear of pros & cons and the story of fire crews that battled it.

Participants are responsible for their own gear, food and beverages.  Bring binocs, cameras, sun and insect protection, field guides and clothing for changing weather – whatever keeps you happy.  Camp chairs are a good option.  Sturdy foot gear (hiking boots) is not only a recommendation but a MUST.

Bring family and friends. We will be seeing both country and conditions not always open or existing in the Badlands.

Circumstance, weather and timing will all impact our exact time table and itinerary so be prepared to be flexible!  RSVPs to Jan at are especially important if you plan to attend!

A sensory experience: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. Join us!

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11:00 AM11:00

Southern Badlands: Tracy Mountain and Ponderosa Pines

Saturday, June 24, 2017, 11 am CT - Sunday, June 25, 2017, 2 pm CT

Overnight camp at US Forest Service Burning Coal Vein Campground south of Medora.  Directions may be found here:  or follow East River Road south from Medora @30 miles.  Watch for brown campground sign. Feel free to arrive Friday evening as desired. Explore begins at 11 am CT on Saturday.

Saturday, June 24th: Tracy Mountain and US Forest Service lands just off the northwest corner of Kendley Plateau Suitable for Wilderness will give us the opportunity to talk about oil and gas development moving into the Southern Badlands.  We’ll visit Dantz Creek, the northern “maker” of Kendley Plateau, and revisit the Loey Butte vicinity.  A side jaunt to the Little Missouri River bottoms will allow for a cool down as temperatures warrant.

Sunday, June 25th: A purely for the fun of it off-trail explore of the Ponderosa Pine Research Natural Area

Please RSVP to Jan at

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