About the trail

The Maah Daah Hey trail system showcases some of our country’s most unique and breathtaking terrain. Majestic plateaus, jagged peaks and valleys, large expanses of rolling prairie, and rivers intertwine to offer the adventerous outdoors enthusiast a taste of pure, unadulterated wilderness.



The Maah Daah Hey trail system is comprised of nine trail units of varying size and difficulty. From north to south, they are the Wolf (8.8 miles), Long X (5.8 miles), Summit (3.8 miles), Overlook (0.3 miles), Maah Daah Hey (144 miles), Bennett (3.2 miles), Cottonwood (6.9 miles), Ice Cave (1.5 miles) and, Buffalo Gap (18.9 miles).


Our trail system features nearly every type of terrain found in western North Dakota. This varies from grassy flats and ridges to very rough steep clay badlands buttes with everything in between, including river bottoms and wooded draws to rolling prairie.


There are eleven developed campgrounds on the Maah Daah Hey Trail System: CCC, Bennett, Buffalo Gap, Burning Coal Vein, Coal Creek, Cottonwood, Elkhorn, Magpie, Sully Creek, Summit, and Wannagan.


The trail features eight strategically placed water caches: Bear Creek, Beicegel Creek Road, Long X, Magpie Road, Plumely Draw, Roosevelt, Third Creek, and Tom’s Wash.


There are 16 trailheads connecting access roads to our beautiful trail system: CCC, Bear Creek, Bennett, Bully Pulpit, Buffalo Gap, Burning Coal Vein, Coal Creek, Elkhorn Ranch, Ice Cave, Magpie, Peaceful Valley Ranch, Plumely Draw, Sully Creek, Third Creek, Tom’s Wash, and Wannagan. Please observe the No-Parking, No-Loitering, and No-Unloading signs along the East River Road south of Medora. Parking along the road in this area can be dangerous. See the USFS warning under the News tab on this website.


Mountain bikes account for roughly 70% of the use with horse use in the 25% range with the remaining 5% as hikers or back packers. There is ample opportunity for all sorts of non-motorized outdoor activities within the trail system including camping, bird watching, nature and wildlife photography, and much more.


This area of North Dakota provides prime habitat for a variety of mammals and birds. Mule and whitetail deer, antelope, prairie dogs, and coyotes are often sighted, while an occasional golden eagle, red tail hawk, or prairie falcon may be spotted soaring above. Bighorn sheep and elk have been reintroduced into the area and can be spotted by keen observers. In addition, bison and feral horses roam the range in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.


The Maah Daah Hey Trail crosses the Little Missouri River in two places, Elkhorn Crossing and Sully Crossing. Water height varies with weather conditions. Consult our FAQ page for more information on the ebb and flow of the Little Missouri in the trail system. Knutson Creek, a slow meandering creek most of the year is crossed by both the Maah Daah Hey Trail and the Buffalo Gap Trail. The bottom of this creek is very muddy so subsurface puncheons have been constructed that will support the weight of trail users. Posts on each side of the banks marks the path of the crossing.

The symbol for the trail is the turtle. Adopted from the Lakota Sioux Indians, the turtle symbolizes patience, loyalty, determination, steadfastness, long-life and fortitude. The turtle shell symbolizes protection and its effigy is emblazoned on the posts that mark the trail.

About the MDHTA

The Maah Daah Hey Trail Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing and maintaining a linear, non-motorized, sustainable, recreational trail system in southwest North Dakota, through voluntary and public involvement, and in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service.


Curt Glasoe – President
Roger Ashley – Vice President
Beverly Brierley – Second Vice President
Brent McCluskey – Secretary
Jesse Hanson – Treasurer
Nathaniel Bishop

PAST BOARD MEMBERS (1999-present)

Les Albaugh – Vice President
Aileen Luethe – Treasurer
Swede Nelson – President
Dale Heglund – Treasurer
Curt Glasoe – President
Jennifer Morlock – Secretary
Bob Shannon – President, Vice President
Don Mayer – President
Aileen Luethe – Treasurer
Darcy Sandstrom
Lauri Giese
Jutta Schmidt
Roger Ashley – Treasurer, Secretary
Mark Zimmerman – Treasurer
Darcy Sandstrom
Bennie Lange
Randy Snyder
Rick Lagge
Rod Mitzel – Vice President, Treasurer
Nick Ybarra – 2nd Vice President
Bruce Bishop – Secretary


Roger & Pat Ashley
Glenn & Jolene Baranko
Denton & Paulette Berntson
Bruce & Roberta Bishop
Chad & Emily Mitzel Brackelsberg
Tom & Sherri Dickson
Kenneth and Norma Eberts
Curt & Carol Glasoe
Ron & Sheila Hartl
Dale & Jennifer Heglund
Lisa Kudelka & Jesse Hansen
William Hoeg
Christa Kron
Mike & Chandra Langseth
Mark Liebig
Ron & Aileen Luethe
Don & Susan Mayer
Medora Convention & Visitors Bureau
Rodney & Carolyn Mitzel
John Randall Olson
Mike Parke
Charles & Sandra Peterson
Brian Selland
Diane Stoltz Family
Dwight & Loa Tober
Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation
Glenny Ulschak
Steve & Janet Wieser
Nick & Lindsey Ybarra



Kim Callahan
Paul Conrad
Matthew Hays
Andrew Howick
Brian Lang
Steve Maul
Patrick Mcbride
Hiram Rogers & Jean Gauger
Eric Selle
Robert Stein
Freida Tebelius
Mark Zimmerman


Chuck Picard

Membership makes everything possible. If you love the Maah Daah Hey, thank them for their service, or become a member yourself, and get some great MDH gear in the process.