Two Days North from Bowman

Two Days North from Bowman

Your Guide to North Dakota’s Best Kept Secrets


Burning Coal Vein, Maah Daah Hey Trail, White Butte, Stewart Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Pioneer Trails Regional Museum


Before leaving Bowman grab a bite to eat, any additional supplies needed for your trip, and gas. There are no services along your route.


Stop 1: Maah Daah Hey Trail

Enjoy mountain biking, hiking, or horseback riding

The Maah Daah Hey trail is the longest single-track mountain biking route in the United States. This 144 mile trail unit showcases majestic plateaus, jagged peaks and valleys, large expanses of prairie, and rivers that can be enjoyed by biking, hiking, or horseback riding. There are 16 trailheads in total, one of which is located inside Burning Coal Vein Campground on the west of the campground. The Burning Coal Vein trailhead is located 15 miles west and north of Amidon and the trail travels north through the south and north units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the Little Missouri National Grassland.


Printable Directions

Stop 2: Burning Coal Vein

Finish the evening by exploring and camping at Burning Coal Vein Campground

Burning Coal Vein is a badlands landscape still in the making. The fire smoldering in the coal layer several feet underground was burning when viewed by the first settlers in the area over a hundred years ago. Burning Coal Vein and is part of Little Missouri National Grassland’s natural area with adjoining campground.

The underground fire is no longer active, but local landscape features and columnar Rocky Mountain juniper (cedar) bear witness to the effects of the continuous smoke of past years.


Burning Coal Vein campground has 8 sites, each with it’s own picnic table and a fire ring with a grill. The campground also has a handicap accessible toilet and potable water from a well with a hand pump. It is a great place to start your adventure hiking or backpacking with its location being the southernmost trailhead to the Maah Daah Hey Trail.


Printable Directions

Stop 3: White Butte

Hike to the top of the highest point in North Dakota and take in the great views


Located on Highway 85, north of Bowman, White Butte is North Dakota’s highest natural point at 3,506 feet overlooking the Little Missouri National Grassland. You can hike year round, but some of the best times are in the spring. Enjoy the beauty of the nearby scenery, native flowers and grass, and the stillness of nature. White Butte may not be the most strenuous hike you conquer, but it will definitely be one of the most memorable ones. The trail offers numerous activities and amazing photo opportunities. When you get to the top, don’t forget to sign the guest book! White Butte is surrounded by private land, so please be respectful.


Printable Directions

Stop 4: Stewart Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Enjoy a beautiful prairie hike to Stewart Lake


Stewart Lake in Slope County is approximately 8 miles southwest of Amidon, North Dakota. This 197 acre lake is surrounded by 2,033 acres of native grasslands, tame grasses, and rock outcroppings. Stewart Lake is the largest wetland on the refuge, and is the major water bird oasis in the area. Enjoy an easy 2-mile hike round trip to an old stone gazebo and overlook what was once a popular gathering place for picnicking, swimming, and fishing activities. Hunting and fishing is not allowed at the refuge.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt established Stewart Lake National Wildlife Refuge as a breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife in 1941.

Stop 5: Pioneer Trails Regional Museum

Explore local history and learn about dinosaur bones

Pioneer Trails Regional Museum is a family-friendly museum that brings history to life and a must see part of your visit to Bowman County. The museum is a regional research and repository for history from within 100 miles of Bowman, ND. Learn about the local area through story telling brought to life in educational exhibits. Send the kids through the museum with an interactive scavenger hunt to engage them while they are learning. If an even more hands-on approach is your idea of fun, sign up for a Dig-for-a-Day Tour to collect fossils and explore the local geology. After time in the field, you will return to the preparation lab to learn more about what happens after fossils are found. In the middle of dinosaur country, this well curated museum will not disappoint. Open year round.

Take in more of North Dakota’s Beauty

Explore local history and learn about dinosaur bones


Head further north and explore Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Medora, North Dakota.



(701) 523-5880
13 1/2 E Divide
PO Box 1143
Bowman, ND 58623


Monday – Friday
8 am – 5 pm MT
(Closed on legal holidays)