Makoshika State Park – Glendive, Montana - Atlas Obscura

Makoshika State Park

The oldest badlands in North America, Makoshika State Park takes it name from the Lakota words for broken land. 


Roaming the ridges of Makoshika, you can see how this ancient river delta lay down the reefs of clay and sediment to feed the inland sea back when its waters still flowed. 

Sometimes, travelers find themselves stuck here after a wild summer thunderstorm because the hills and roads tumultuously slide back into the muddy river beds that house their original formations.  More than one weary traveler has been airlifted out over the years because the mud becomes impassable after a hard rain. 

Now, it’s home to wild things; juniper, sage and some of the most intensely clear dark night skies in the lower 48.  It’s a place where you can still hear the sound of your own heartbeat, be greeted by an instant flash of thunderous rainbow and wander in what little fauna this harsh land can sustain with the wind always reshaping the land around you. 

Makoshika is one of the largest state parks in Montana, the most popular, and one of the stops along the Montana Dino Trail.

Make time to hike the trails, including a short but strenuous trail that takes you to a real Hadrosaur fossil still partially in the sandstone.

The park also houses the fossil remains of Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops. 

Know Before You Go

It's on the outskirts of town, so you need a map to navigate through the neighborhoods that surround the main road into the park. Everyone in town knows where it is at though, so you should be able to make your way there.

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