Ready for a road trip? The weather is much nicer, and it's time to grab the sunglasses and hit the road! North Dakota is a state with vast open spaces and endless highways, and the longest highway in the state from north to south is US Highway 85. Stretching over 412 miles, US Highway 85 runs north-south through the western part of North Dakota, from the Canadian border to the South Dakota state line. Remember, this is talking north/south. If you average 70mph, that's about 5.8 hours to drive. It will be more considering you do go through several towns along the way.

US Highway 85 offers a scenic drive with views of the vast grasslands, rolling hills, and rugged Badlands terrain that characterize much of western North Dakota. Along the way, you will also see historic sites, small towns, and natural wonders that make North Dakota a unique and fascinating destination.
Highway 85 Map

Starting at the Canadian border, US Highway 85 passes through the small towns of Ambrose and Westhope before reaching the city of Williston. Williston is the largest city on the route and a hub for the state's oil industry. Here you can visit the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, which was an important trading center in the 19th century.

Continuing south, the highway passes through the charming towns of Watford City and Belfield, where you can visit the Dakota Dinosaur Museum and see fossils and displays about North Dakota's prehistoric past.
Throdore Roosevelt National Park

Further south, US Highway 85 enters the breathtaking Theodore Roosevelt National Park, where you can see the rugged Badlands landscape that inspired President Theodore Roosevelt to establish the park in 1947. The park offers hiking trails, scenic drives, and opportunities to see bison, pronghorns, and other wildlife.

As the highway approaches the South Dakota border, it passes through the town of Bowman, where you can visit the Bowman County Pioneer Museum and see artifacts from the region's early settlers.

Overall, driving the longest highway in North Dakota offers a unique and fascinating glimpse into the state's natural and cultural heritage. If you have friends or relatives coming for graduation, this might be a perfect way to offer them something to see and do! From the open grasslands to the rugged Badlands, from small towns to national parks, US Highway 85 has something for everyone who loves to explore the open road. We will cover the east and west tomorrow. When you head out on this road trip, be sure to keep the radio locked to one of our Townsquare Media stations!

KEYZ AM 660 logo
Get our free mobile app

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at

More From KEYZ AM 660