North Dakota’s Hidden Hike | Maah Daah Hey Trail

After years of discussion, my dad and I finally ventured to the Maah Daah Trail to do some hiking and geocaching. We began our hike in the early afternoon, and before our feet touched the dirt trail, my dad was already impressed by the gate – you must pull it up, over your head to enter. Of course, I had to make fun of him a tad, especially when he commented on it yet again when we left. So even if you just drive down this gravel road and get out of your car, you may already be seeing things you’ve never seen, like a gate! I don’t want to ruin this experience with the picture, you’ll just have to see it! The trail forked immediately, and we took the left path, since we wanted to find the River Valley View caches.

This first cache was less than 100 feet from the trail, up a slight hill, and an ammo can. As promised, a great view of the river valley was the reward at this cache (not so much in the swag department, allowing me to complete the May 2017 #GeoChallenge from Cache Advance and the Geocaching Vlogger!).

We continued our trek, admiring the multitude of different wild flowers and grass types. I’d love to acquire a pamphlet of the area with names of all the plants, but then again, it would be a very long read! I had to take a few pictures of my favorite flowers due to their rich cobalt blue color.

I had my phone – yes my phone! – in hand while approaching the next cache. The trail began turning left around a steep butte, but alas, the arrow was pointing right towards the hill. So we climbed, my dad a little more wearily, up the loose gravel, dodging the cacti. I scraped my finger on something and drew some blood (anything for the cache!), but we made it to see another stunning view of the river, one we never would’ve seen without geocaching.

We continued along the trail a while longer, and then turned around to go back to the truck. On our way to the highway, we took a right down a forest road to find one more cache. We parked about a quarter mile away from the geocache, walking on a very old road. Crossing a barbed wire fence, we quickly spied the location (the name Rubys Hobbit Hole finally clicked), and made the grab. My dad, not a “geocacher,” thoroughly enjoyed this location. We swapped swag; he really wanted a lighter (probably not the best swag anyway!). He was a great photographer too, catching me trading swag and signing the log.

As we left for home, we saw a flock of wild turkeys. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture; they are fast runners! One day we will return, hopefully this summer, to continue our adventures down the Maah Daah Hey Trail.

For those interested in this hidden gem south of Theodore Roosevelt’s National Park (south of Watford City, ND), here is the official trail’s site: Unlike the national park, the trail is free! Bonus point!

Please let me know if you have any questions or any stories from your time spent on the Maah Daah Hey Trail!

Thanks for reading!

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