The Enchanted Highway: Is It Worth It?

There are few stretches more magical than the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota. But despite its magic, the attraction only sees about 6,000 visitors in a normal year.

This collection of artistic exhibits is a unique experience, but is it worth it? Should you take a detour to ride the Enchanted Highway? Let’s find out!

About the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota

The Enchanted Highway is a stretch of highway in western North Dakota. It consists of a collection of large metal sculptures that span 32 miles.

The creator, Gary Greff, noticed the decline of small towns and businesses in the region and wanted to do something about it. The idea was to create something that would bring tourists to the area.

Greff began the project in 1989 when he created the first sculpture, “Geese in Flight.” After the success of his first creation, Gary set out to create other structures along the route that would reflect the landscape, history and culture of the area.

Today, visitors can view seven large metal sculptures made from scrap metal and various recycled materials. If you’ve ever wanted to see a six-foot fish, a six-foot pheasant or Teddy Roosevelt on a horse, now’s your chance.

Why is it called the Enchanted Highway?

There is little information about why the road got its name. However, the definition of “enchanted” is “filled with joy.” In view of this, it is easy to understand why it probably received this name.

Each sculpture has rest areas and picnic areas that allow visitors to make memories and spend time together along the highway, filling everyone with joy.

The name fits the route, as visitors feel like they are in a fairy tale. Walking among giant fish, grasshoppers and a huge tin family is an experience that will never be forgotten.

Where does the Enchanted Highway begin and end?

Beginning in the town of Gladstone in western North Dakota at Exit 72 off Interstate 94, the Enchanted Highway runs for 32 miles directly into the city of Regent. The goal of the highway was to attract travelers and their purses to the city of Regent.

The city was founded in 1910 and has earned a reputation for hospitality. At last count, Regent’s population was about 150. Many people in the area work in agriculture and ranching.

While the Enchanted Highway does not attract hundreds of thousands of people to the region, it is becoming increasingly popular. More and more travelers have learned about this highway through social media, and many hope to experience it for themselves.

How many statues are there on the Enchanted Highway?

There are seven completed statues along the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota. However, Gary Greff’s ultimate plan was to put up 10 statues. He mentioned that he has two finished statues but has nowhere to put them.

Greff told HPR1 newspaper, “I’d like to put three more sculptures on the Enchanted Highway; there’s a 12-mile stretch where there should be three more sculptures. And right now the landowners aren’t really cooperative in leasing me a piece of land.”

Unfortunately, the Enchanted Highway is a one-person show. Greff, 70, maintains the statues and parking lots and mows the lawn. It’s a big job that he hopes “won’t die when I die.”

Greff also owns the Enchanted Castle Hotel in Regent, N.D., which features a work-in-progress statue of a knight fighting a dragon.

Can you drive your RV on the Enchanted Highway?

Driving on the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota is easy with an RV. However, it is important to note that some RVs may find it challenging to stop to admire each piece of art.

Parking lots can have large potholes, and some parking lots require driving up and down short, steep driveways. This can cause ground clearance problems, especially with longer trailers.

Unfortunately, there is not much room to safely pull over to the side of the road. Driving the Enchanted Highway by motorhome is possible, but not a good idea if you want to take your time.

If possible, we recommend parking your RV and returning in a more suitable vehicle where you can enjoy each stop without worrying about you and your RV getting into a sticky situation.

Please note: When in North Dakota, don’t waste your time visiting the national parks!

Other Activities Near Enchanted Highway in North Dakota

While the Enchanted Highway is a magical experience, that’s not all there is to experience in this part of North Dakota. After driving the route, you can stay at the Enchanted Castle Hotel or campground and visit the gift store. But there are a few other things you should see and experience when visiting this area.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The name of Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a tribute to the 26th President of the United States. President Roosevelt spent time in North Dakota in the late 19th century and championed the conservation of natural resources and the establishment of national parks.

The park is divided into three units totaling 70,000 acres. The three units include the North Unit, the South Unit, and the Elkhorn Ranch Unit. With their diverse landscapes, wildlife, and outdoor recreational opportunities, each area offers a unique experience for visitors.

You can hike, camp and view wildlife in the park. Or you can drive one of the many scenic routes to experience most of the park. In addition, you can learn more about the region on guided tours of historic sites and cultural attractions.

View of Theodore Roosevelt National Park near the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota.

The Dakota Zoo in Bismarck

The Dakota Zoo is a small zoo in Bismarck, N.D. It was established in 1961 and is home to many animals, including several endangered and threatened species.

You can see more than 600 animals from around the world on the zoo’s 90-plus acres of grounds. Among the most popular attractions are snow leopards, gray wolves, red pandas and river otters.

The zoo also has several attractions and facilities, including a train ride, a petting zoo where children can interact with farm animals, and a playground.

Don’t forget: If you’re thinking about giving up the RV life, know that it’s harder than ever to quit!

Dickinson Museum Center & Badlands Dinosaur Museum.

The Dickinson Museum Center is a museum located in Dickinson, N.D. The museum features various exhibits on the history, culture and natural environment of western North Dakota. Here you can learn a lot about the region and its important role in American history.

The Badlands Dinosaur Museum takes a step back in time. It houses one of the largest collections of real dinosaur fossils in North America. On display are the skeletons of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Triceratops. A place that anyone interested in paleontology will never forget.

A dinosaur fossil in a museum near the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota.

Is the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota worth it?

The Enchanted Highway in North Dakota is worth a visit if you’re in the area and looking for a unique attraction off the beaten path.

It’s a fun and memorable way to experience the beauty and culture of North Dakota. On the way from Billings (Mont) to Bismarck (N.D.), you can take a detour on the highway.

Take lots of photos as you enjoy this unique and creative attraction, and tell your friends and family about your magical experience. And maybe you’ll spend the night at the Enchanted Castle at the end of the trail.

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