Interior of Earth Lodge at the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site Visitor Center (NPS photo)
Interior of Earth Lodge at the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site Visitor Center (NPS photo)
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Sakakawea Scenic Byway

Relive the excitement and adventure of early explorers and pioneers who ventured into the uncharted west when you voyage along the Sakakawea Scenic Byway. Dotted with important historic sites and interactive experiences, the byway begins at Highway 200A, curving from Washburn to Stanton.

Relive the excitement and adventure of early explorers and pioneers who ventured into the uncharted west when you voyage along the Sakakawea Scenic Byway. Dotted with important historic sites and interactive experiences, the byway begins at Highway 200A, curving from Washburn to Stanton.

At the beginning of the byway, get a detailed look into the expedition of Lewis and Clark at the North Dakota Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, which features authentic Native American artifacts, exhibits detailing the frontier trade industry, an exhibit honoring family farms in North Dakota, and artwork by Karl Bodmer, who was known for his watercolors depicting 19th century Upper Midwest Native American culture. Also nearby is the historically accurate, recreated Fort Mandan, which served as Lewis and Clark’s winter post from 1804-1805. Special exhibits and programs are featured throughout the year at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan. For the current information, go to www.FortMandan.com or call 701-462-8535.

Just 15 miles southwest of Washburn, explore the Fort Clark State Historic Site, one of the state’s most important archaeological sites, where an earthlodge village, cemetery and two fur trade posts serve as a reminder of the area’s past trading industry, as well as the devastating small pox and cholera epidemics that eradicated most of the inhabitants more than 150 years ago.

At the end of the scenic byway, Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site provides an in-depth look into the history of North Dakota’s Native American tribes, as well as the area’s rich fur trading heritage after 1750. While you’re here, browse Hidatsa Indian artifacts in the gallery exhibits, see the full-scale reconstructed Earthlodge and Hidatsa garden outdoors, hike the trails to take in views of the Missouri River, or drop in a fishing line at the Knife River.

In celebration of the Centennial of the National Park Service, the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site also offers a lineup of special events and programs throughout 2016. The Knife River Trail Series will feature a schedule of hikes taking place on the first of each month on the trails within the park, as well as off-site partner locations. ArcheoBlitz (May 5-7, 2016) will offer supervised archeological research for 7th and 8th graders, while the final day of the event will be open to the public, featuring special events and Native American performing arts presentations. Hands On History in July will showcase traditional Hidatsa crafts demonstrations, such as beading (July 9, 2016) and pottery (July 30, 2016). Browse the events calendar for even more exciting things to do at this interactive historic site.

Discover even more off-the-beaten-path spots and detours along the Sakakawea Scenic Byway.

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