The Elkhorn Ranch Site
I blazed the trail through the snow, alternately following deer and rogue cattle tracks through the drifted snow, periodically stopping to look back and stay within sight of my companions. Aside from the popping sound of a distant oil well and the mooing of cattle on the surrounding ranch land, it was silent.
For my comrades, I uncovered one of the foundation stones, all that is left of the building. I stood on the spot where the cabin's veranda once stood. There, Roosevelt rocked in his rocking chair, reading, chatting, and enjoying the view across the river. The setting sun must light the hills nicely in the evening, a nice reward for a hard day's work on the ranch.
This is the spot where Roosevelt's veranda once stood. Yes, my attire is ridiculous. But I wasn't cold and my pants and boots weren't full of snow.
The Elkhorn Ranch is a place to contemplate Theodore Roosevelt and his contributions to conservation. It was there that Roosevelt spent the most time in the badlands, there that he wrote about, there that he saw the need for conservation as the wildlife and range around him was decimated. It's also a reminder of the strenuous life, for a visit to the Elkhorn Ranch is a journey, especially when winter is relentless. Worried about the serious potential for frostbite and hypothermia, we started back after a few minutes milling around the cabin site.
I won't bother recounting the full history of the site here, but there is plenty to read, watch, and listen about the Elkhorn Ranch on the park's website. Perhaps the best resource is the Elkhorn Ranch Audio Guide, which I recommend for anyone to listen to on a trip to the Elkhorn or from home. You can download it for free, throw it on your MP3 player or a CD and run with it.
For more resources, there is a lot to explore. Learn more about the Elkhorn Ranch Site. Watch videos about the Elkhorn Ranch Site. Learn about Theodore Roosevelt and his ranch hands at the Elkhorn Ranch.