National Parks/Monuments

Caprock Coulee Nature Trail

(Last Updated On: November 5, 2022)

I’m not really sure what constitutes a nature trail. To me, it is a short, easy walk that is great for kids. Often they have informational signs or stopping points to learn about the flora, fauna, or geology of the area. Well, the Caprock Coulee nature trail has stops like that, but it is a little longer than what might qualify as a walk.

The trail starts at the restrooms in the north section of Teddy Roosevelt National Park. Within thirty meters, the trail splits. Turn down and left to take the nature trail. Make sure to pick up the interpretive pamphlet at the trail split so that you can learn about things on the trail. 

hikers walking on dirt trail through green grass
The trail heads out from the bathrooms at the trailhead.
trail register and trail marker
Watch for the trail register on the left and the small sign.

There are 21 stops along the nature trail, which makes a bit more than a walk, especially since it is out and back. The total distance for the trail is 1.5 miles. The pamphlet gives information about what you can see along the trail, and we always love learning when we hike.

boy hiking on dirt trail with badlands cliffs in the background
The trail crosses a small creek bed near the beginning.
narrow dirt trail through the grass
The trail follows along the edge of the cliffs.
hikers walking through tall grass
There are a few sections where a little bushwhacking is involved.

This nature trail follows along the foot of a small butte, and the points of interest have a lot to do with the plants in the area, as well as the geology of the butte. When we walked this trail, it was pretty wet and a bit muddy, even though it was the middle of June. For this reason, we didn’t even make it to the end of trail. We turned around at #15. 

hikers walking along the Caprock Coulee Nature Trail
There are some very pretty views along the trail.
rock formation in theodore roosevelt national park
There were some really interesting things to see.
Caprock Coulee Nature Trail is well marked.
Once the trail got super muddy, we turned around.

We liked the Caprock Coulee Nature Trail. It was flat and easy, and the pamphlet kept it interesting. And we enjoyed seeing the different types of habitats in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. But to be honest, we recommend the Prairie Dog Town on the other side of the butte. Seeing the wildlife there was much more to our boys’ liking. This trail starts at the same trailhead. Use our list of Kid Hikes in Theodore Roosevelt National Park to see what other trails we recommend.

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