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Tag Archives: Wild horses

In late June we drove out to South Dakota and then up to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. In the evening we drove around the Park looking for wild horses. We saw only one. The next morning we tried again and were successful beyond our wildest dreams. We saw a total of 88 wild horses. Finding that many was really lucky. Normally there is a loop road through the park but the road is near the loop junction. As a result the drive is out and back. We saw 78 of the horses one section of the park. An hour later we drove through the same area and saw only one horse.

 

 

When we woke up it was a very foggy morning and looked like it might rain. After breakfast at a local cafe we tentatively decided that we wanted to hike out to the Petrified Forest. We stopped at the ranger station to check on road conditions. The roads were in good shape because their oil wells right up to the park boundary so the roads are well maintained.

More photos from Theodore Roosevelt National Park can be found on my website.

We found the trail an as we started out we were not certain if we would go to the south or north unit of the petrified forest. The decision was made somewhat easier because there was a Buffalo standing on the trail to the north unit.

We hadn’t gone far before we ran into a couple of wild horses.

There was quite a bit of petrified wood in a relatively small area. There were petrified wood chips everywhere. I seemed a little strangeĀ  because the chips looked just like real wood.

After looking around a bit we decided to continue hiking and see if we could find the Maah Daah Hey Trail. Turned out to take a little longer that we expected but w ran into several other hikers and they indicated that the trail was well marked at all of the intersections and trail markers could be seen along the trail.

We saw a variety of wild flowers blooming on the prairie.

Toward the end of the Maah Daah Hey Trail we encountered a couple of buffalo. One wandered onto the trail ahead of us but didn’t pay munch attention to us and continue on down the trail. A second one came running after the first one but noticed out presence and made a couple of charges in our direction. We made a retreat and decided to have lunch while we waited for him to move off. We later encountered him again and he still was very interested in us. We have hiked in buffalo country quite a bit but never had a buffalo show this much interest in us.

We continued walking along what appeared to be a large plateau The trees along the area had some good color. We could see quite a ways.

 

We found the North Petrified Forest Trail and took that hopping it would take us back to our car. The trail dropped down into a large ravine with some interesting rock formations.

After climbing out of the ravine we finally reached the north unit of the petrified forest. It was far more extensive than the south unit and if you only had a short time it would be the area I would suggest you visit.

We then headed back to the car. Fortunately the buffalo was no longer on the trail. It was a great day of hiking. We managed over 11 miles for the day.

On our recent trip to Theodore Roosevelt National Park we were lucky to see a variety of wildlife.

More photos from Theodore Roosevelt National Park can be found on my website.

Mule Deer

Buffalo

Prairie Dog

Pronghorns

Wild Horses

When we first arrived in Theodore Roosevelt National Park we asked about seeing the wild horses. The ranger said if we were lucky we would see them. By that standard we were very lucky. We saw three different herds over two days. One herd we saw several times. This small herd was coming down out of the hills late in the day seeking water at the river. Of course they attracted lots of attention from passing cars. The cars ended up blocking the way to the river. They finally went into the brush to bide their time waiting for the tourists to leave. When we drove back through the area we noticed they had crossed the road and were wandering toward the river.

More photos from Theodore Roosevelt National Park can be found on my website.

 

 

It took us a full day to drove to Dickinson, South Dakota where we stayed for the night. The next morning we drove over to the South Unit where we spent the morning driving around and getting a feel for the Park.

More photos from Theodore Roosevelt National Park can be found on my website.

It was overcast but we could see occasional glimpses of the sun. Fall was in the air and the colors were starting to change. In some places it was outstanding.

We stopped at the Prairie Dog town. In addition to the Prairie Dogs we saw a couple of Pronghorns.

Our next stop was Peaceful Valley Ranch where we notice a number of folks getting ready for a trail ride. I have to admire anyone who rides horses. It looks like a lot of money and time is involved just getting to the trail and saddling up the horses. I wouldn’t have the patience.

At Skyline Vista we noticed these strange rock formations. We think the second shot is an ancient see creature that had absorbed a lot of iron and is embedded in the rock formation. We saw this same thing at other locations in the park but this was the best example.

As we drove down the road I noticed a Buffalo back behind some rocks. I walked back to get a better look and discovered a small herd in a wash. The one hiding behind the sage brush seems to by quite interested in me so I was also keeping a close eye on it.

As we drove down from Dickinson we noticed a couple of wild horses along the highway. When we entered the park we ask about the horses and the ranger said we would see them if we were lucky. As it turned out we were lucky. For some reason we took a dirt road off toward the Roundup Horse Camp. As we came over the hill we found a small group of five horses. The group consisted of a stallion and four mares. We watched them for about a half an hour before moving on.

We then continued on the loop road finishing in Medora in the early afternoon.