Buffalo Gap Trail Review: The North Dakota Jewel
Set amidst the awe-inspiring buttes and valleys of North Dakota's badlands, the Buffalo Gap Trail in Medora presents cyclists with a vibrant mix of scenery and a moderate yet invigorating riding experience. Spanning approximately 12 miles, this out-and-back trail is more about the journey and less about the challenge. It's a trail that's as much about the mind as it is about the body.
Scenic Beauty: One of Buffalo Gap's prime offerings is its breathtaking vistas. Cyclists frequently mention the panoramic views of the buttes and valleys, with several points offering unparalleled sights of the badlands.Signage: For those concerned about staying on track, the trail is well-signposted. Large 7-foot wooden markers guide the way, with etchings of turtles or buffalos ensuring riders remain on the correct path.Terrain: While the Buffalo Gap doesn't push riders with technical difficulties, its sandy stretches and occasional uphill sections ensure a heart-pumping experience. Depending on the season, cyclists might encounter a few shallow creek crossings — a refreshing if unexpected treat during a summer ride.Wildlife: The trail's unique environment means riders often encounter local wildlife. From chattering prairie dog "villages" to distant sightings of elk or deer, Buffalo Gap provides a firsthand experience of North Dakota's rich biodiversity.
The trail can be accessed via two primary entry points: the western exit of Medora under I-94 or directly from the Buffalo Gap Campground's day-use parking lot, approximately 6 miles west of Medora.
For those visiting North Dakota, the Buffalo Gap Trail is more than a recommendation; it's a must-ride. Not too demanding for the average rider yet still presenting enough challenges to keep things interesting, it's a trail that exemplifies the beauty and essence of the state. Whether a local or a visitor, whether riding for the views or for the thrill, Buffalo Gap promises and delivers every single time.