Put on your cowboy boots, saddle up and make your way to North Dakota for some adventurous, rugged cowboy fun! From rodeos and rustic dining to the World’s Largest Buffalo and scenic horseback rides, this rugged outdoor State offers plenty of ways to live like a Wild West hero.
Western culture on a grand scale
In Jamestown stands Dakota Thunder – the world’s largest buffalo.
Modelled on a male bison and designed by American sculptor Elmer Petersen, this 60 ton concrete sculpture is a Western masterpiece. Dakota Thunder is certainly something to marvel at, standing at a massive 26 feet tall and costing approximately $8,500 to create.
Jamestown offers much more than just this magnificent monument. Sights include a community built Midwestern ‘Frontier Village’, a nod to the small prairie towns of the Wild West era. Visitors can also find out more about the monument and buffalo at the National Buffalo Museum, or see the local buffalo themselves – and try to spot the rare white buffalo!
For more information, visit www.discoverjamestownnd.com/what-to-see/world-s-largest-buffalo-monument
Head for a classic North Dakota rodeo
One of North Dakota’s oldest sporting events, Killdeer Mountain Round Up Rodeo, is a standout event that rodeo devotees won’t want to miss.
There’s plenty of bucking bronco fun at this event from 2-4 July 2015, with bareback bronc riding, bull riding and saddle bronc riding to name a few! Guests can also enjoy parades, BBQ’s, street dancing and a petting zoo – there is something for everyone at this authentic Western event on the edge of the scenic Killdeer Mountains.
For more information, visit www.killdeer.com
Horseback ride alongside the Little Missouri River
Guests can leave modern America behind and head back to the Western life at Little Missouri State Park, only accessible by foot or by horseback.
With over 47 miles of scenic trails made for backpackers or riders, visitors can get back to Western nature and search for wildlife. Mule deer, coyotes, foxes, and bobcats roam the park, creating a great on-foot safari vibe.
If visitors travel along the southern banks of the stunning Little Missouri River on horseback they will feel like they’re back in the Western cowboy era, looking out for roaming wildlife and winding along the beaten track under the blazing sun.
For more information, visit www.parkrec.nd.gov/Parks/lmosp/lmosp.html
Learn about the great Western heroes
The Cowboy Hall of Fame, Medora, preserves the history and culture of North Dakota’s greatest ranching and rodeo communities.
Featuring permanent and travelling exhibits, this interpretive Center of Western Heritage and Cultures is a fascinating look into North Dakota’s cowboy history – great for those who love to learn about life in the Wild West. With a colourful and rich heritage to sink your teeth into, learn about the cowboy era, wander around the Hall of Honourees, or purchase your own cowboy memorabilia at the gift shop.
The centre also hosts events throughout the year, including the National Day of the Cowboy on 27 July 2015 – with lots of celebrations, rodeos and community activities to bring the history to life.
For more information, visit www.northdakotacowboy.com
Enjoy a rustic style BBQ at the Pitchfork Steak Fondue
Feast like a cowboy whilst taking in the stunning North Dakota Badlands at the Pitchfork Steak Fondue, Medora.
A unique, country-style dining experience, steaks are skewered on pitch forks and dunked in a large vat of boiling oil – a truly Western way to eat meat! These huge hunks of fondue steak come with all the works: steaming baked potatoes, beans, coleslaw, sugar donuts, brownies and lemonade, all at $29.
From Sunday to Thursday hungry cowboys and cowgirls can join the Cowboy Cookout, enjoying buffalo roast, herb roasted chicken or BBQ ribs instead of the usual steak fondue. For only $29 per adult and $15 per child, there is something for everyone at this delicious feast.
For more information, visit www.medora.com/eat/family/pitchfork-steak-fondue