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Buffalo Gap Trail

Average Rating:    (3.75 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 4

The Buffalo Gap Trail is an offroad way to get from Medora, north past the South Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The section of the Maah Daah Hey that runs through the South Unit is strictly off limits to bicycles. The trail is clearly marked by 4x4 wooden posts with a branded ouline of a buffalo head and the words "Buffalo Gap Trail". The angled top of the marker slants toward the trail at all times. After Gate 1, go then Gate 2, then Gate 3. Right after Gate 3 (which sits in a small grove of pines), the trail splits - take the right up a steep little section. Soon the trail intersection allows one to go left (south) to Sully Creek, right (north) to the Maah Daah Hey, or straight along the Buffalo Gap. Riders can follow the Gap Trail all the way to the north border of the South Unit and link up with the Maah Daah Hey, or stop at either the Buffalo Gap Campgound or the privately owned (but open to the public) Buffalo Gap Ranch, which has rooms, food, and bar beverages.
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Latitude
46.89023157359399
Longitude
-102.6123046875
Trail Directions
From Medora, follow the paved bicycle trail west to the dirt trailhead just under the highway. Follow the trail through to Gate 1.
Trail Length
20 + miles (all), 13 to BG Ranch
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
Medora
Web Address
   


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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

Review Date
September 28, 2006

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: midnightagent ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Dakota Cyclery of Medora shuttled us (my wife and me) to the Buffalo Gap Campground.(about 10 miles west of Medora Exit 18). We rode the Buffalo Gap trail from the Buffalo Gap campground (rolling hills) East past the Buffalo Gap Ranch then SE under the interstate (I94)(some steep hills), then crossed Old Highway 10, then we continued in a SE direction until the trail turned towards the East. The Buffalo Gap ends at the 2 1/2 mile point on the Maah Daah Hey trail (more steep hills). We then rode north on the Maah Daah Hey trail to marker 5 then headed into Medora.

Our skill level: We ride between 700-1000 miles a year. This trip would be comparable to about 30 miles of blacktop (took us about 2hrs). The day we rode, the temperature was around 95 F. The trail gets oven hot at this temperature so bring lots of water (there is no water available on this part of the trail. The two of us used 4 liters of water for the 15 mile trip. Also, don't forget the energy bars. On a hot day this trail gives added to the meaning of the word Badlands.

Hazards: heard reports of Mountain Lions (rare), Blue racers and Rattlers, trail extremely slippery and gummy when wet, dehydration.
The only hazard we experienced was that we were getting thirsty towards the end.

Advanced riders will probably find the trail on the mild side technically but still very enjoyable scenery and atmosphere. If you need more of an adventure, you might consider riding the Maah Daah Hey. You should definitely have a good topo map (Dakota Cyclery sells them) for this trip.

If you find that you become too tired during this route, you can bail out and ride back into town (Medora) on Old Highway 10.

Trip Highlights: The most scenic part of the trip was between the interstate and Old highway 10 and then near where the Buffalo Gap trail meets the Maah Daah Hey trail. The trail has great views and you can see for many miles.

This is our second time riding in the area and can't wait to go back.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Maah Daah Hey



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Review Date
August 28, 2003

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 2 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Mike ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
It's a good trail for beginners in the area - fairly flat and easy to follow. However, it is NOT in the Badlands as many riders are led to believe. It is in the Missouri Valley Grasslands, so it is wide open prairie, not the buttes and cliffs one would expect in the Badlands. I think it would have been a better experience if it hadn't been hyped to me as a great trail through the Badlands. Oh well, it was still pretty fun and I'll know better next time.

Recommended Route:
Take the Maah Daah Hey trail up by the north unit of Roosevelt National Park

Other recommended trails in the same area:
anywhere on the Maah Daah Hey



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Review Date
June 3, 2003

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
1.00 of 5, 2.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Kent , from San Francisco

Summary:
This is a very scenic, pastoral, rolling singletrack ride through the badlands of western North Dakota. It starts near Medora, and winds up and under I-94, ultimately connecting into the Maah Daah Hey trail. You can park at the Buffalo Gap Ranch to ride part of it, or just start in downtown Medora. (Buy a map from the National Park visitor center, or from Dakota Cyclery in Medora). This trail is a 3 to 4 (on a scale of 1 to 10) in terms of technical aspects, and there is very little steep or prolonged climbing (at least on the part that I rode from Buffalo Gap to the interstate). It is mostly good condition grass and dirt riding, and rolling. the trail from the campground northbound is easy to lose - I lost it repeatedly, as the trail markers are dispersed and the trail is evidently NOT ridden very much. In fact, the grassy portions are barely worn! Overall, it's fun, open range style riding, and comes close to being truly off-road biking, as you can deviate from the trail almost everywhere and thus make the trail harder or easier at will. I am going back next week to ride the Maah Daah Hey, and will post something on that later!

Recommended Route:
I haven't ridden the whole trial - just from the Buffalo Gap campground to the interstate, and the other direction for a few miles going north. The trail connects the Maah Daah Hey from Medora to just north of the South Unit of T. Roosevelt National Park, making the ride (Maah Daah Hey) legal by bypassing the National Park boundaries.



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Review Date
December 21, 2002

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Chad B. , from Wing, ND

Summary:
I rode this trail during Thanksgiving break of '02. I rode the majority of the trail and found only a couple miles enjoyable. The closer you get to the Buffalo Gap Campground, the more open grasslands there are. The most enjoyable part I found was the Andrew's Creek area. If you are just going for a day ride, I would not suggest this trail because many parts of the MDH are much better.



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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)