Tucked away on the border with Canada, North Dakota is a frontier region that ranks among America’s least-visited destinations. This is a place of remote beauty where you’ll lose yourself among endless plains and on backcountry roads that weave to hidden destinations.
It’s perhaps best surmised by the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, a badlands of fantastical rock formations and green prairies that change colour with the seasons. Here, the silence is only disturbed by the rushing of rivers and the distant grunts of wildlife; expect everything from wild horses, bison and elk to approximately 200 species of bird. It’s the kind of scenery that inspired its namesake president, solidifying his convictions to serve as the 26th leader of the United States.
North Dakota is also a land of epic road trips. Prime among them is a journey along the wonderfully named Enchanted Highway, bisecting the state to bring you among a series of the world’s largest scrap metal sculptures. Highlights include the Geese in Flight, Tin Family and Deer Crossing. You’re so off the beaten track in this remote region, you could well find yourself as the only vehicle on the road.
There’s also a strong cultural heritage. Other than the swaggering Wild West, showcased in the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, there’s the United Tribes Powwow. Held each year in Bismarck, it’s become one of the state’s premier cultural events, with some 20,000 spectators turning out to watch performances from 1,500 dancers and drummers from over 70 tribes. It’s one of the world’s most impressive festivals of tribal culture.