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2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 11; Lonely US Route 85 in the Dakotas

Following spending the night in Belle Fourche my destination was in North Dakota in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  From US Route 212 in Belle Fourche it was a solid 174 miles north to Interstate I-95 on a desolate stretch of US Route 85.


This blog entry serves as Part 11 of the 2016 Mountain Trip series, Part 10 can be found here:

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 10; Devil's Tower National Monument

US Route 85 north of Belle Fourche in South Dakota traverses through rural Butte County and Harding County.  Between Belle Fourche and the North Dakota State Line there isn't much to capture the interest.  The site of interest I did find was the ghost town of Redig in southern Harding County.  Oddly Redig is something I've never been able to find much information on as it rarely ever appears on historical maps.  The community has an abandoned service station that appears to have been last in use in the mid-20th century.  There was no apparent signs of life amid the abandoned buildings and derelict cars.




US 85 enters North Dakota in Bowman County.  The first real town north from Belle Fourche is the County Seat in Bowman at the junction of US 12.  I stopped in Bowman for a refill of gas and a bag of M&Ms before continuing northward on US 85.

US 85 enters Slope County north of Bowman County.  I stopped in Amidon which is the second least populated incorporated County Seat in the United States with a population of 20.  Amidon was founded in 1910 and was anticipated to be a rail siding of a Milwaukee Road Railroad branch line that ultimately never made it to the community.  When Slope County was split from Billings County in 1914 Amidon became the county seat.  Amidon was the last North Dakota County seat to receive electricity by 1950.  Apparently Amidon once had a population of about 150 in the 1920s but along with Slope County has declined.  Reportedly the Amidon County Post Office closed in 2018.


North of Amidon US 85 enters Stark County where it meets I-94 in Belfield.  From Belfield I entered I-94 west towards Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Part 12 of the 2016 Summer Mountain Trip Series can be found here:

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 12; Theodore Roosevelt National Park, I-94, and Old US 10

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