It might be said that Killdeer is in the middle of everything North Dakota. It’s cowboys, oil, wildlife, rodeos, byways and outdoor activities all rolled into one western North Dakota location.

Killdeer has been a hub of oil activity in every boom cycle since the 1970s. It and its namesake mountains are in the middle of the Killdeer Mountain Four Bears Scenic Byway. The Killdeer Mountain Battlefield honors those of both sides who fought during the Plains Indian War.

The school’s mascot is the cowboy, a perfect fit for the many ranches in the area. For each of the last 95 years, pro rodeo cowboys and cowgirls have gathered for the Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo. Golfers also come to Killdeer to test their skills at Medicine Hole Golf Course, a nine-hole layout with big elevation changes.

Horse owners looking for a more leisurely ride enjoy the ruggedly beautiful trails of Little Missouri State Park north of Killdeer along the scenic byway. Watch the sun set and rise at a cabin at Eastview Campground, adjacent to the national park and overlooking the Badlands.  

As you reach the low point the Badlands, you cross the Little Missouri River at the Lost Bridge site, so named for the fact that when the bridge was built in 1930, there were no road to it. The highway didn’t come along for 20 years and now Highway 22 is a scenic byway from tiny Manning to New Town.

The area’s history comes to life at the Dunn County Museum in Dunn Center and the Hutmacher Farm west of Killdeer.

After a day exploring the area, head downtown to Buckskin Bar where you can look at pictures and rodeo memorabilia as your 16-ounce ribeye is prepared just the way you want it.