- 23 miles (37 km)
This byway highlights fantastic views of the Missouri River Valley, along with some of the state's most outstanding Lewis and Clark destinations. Visitors are able to follow the course of this great journey and discover the history and culture of the people who lived in the rolling hills and wooded valleys of the Missouri and Knife Rivers.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
Cross Ranch State Park (ND)
Located along seven miles of the last free-flowing and undeveloped stretches of the Missouri River, Cross Ranch State Park is rich in both cultural and natural history. A boat ramp is available for those wishing to explore this scenic segment of the river, and anglers will find walleye, pike, and bass in its waters. An extensive trail system can be explored either on foot or on cross-country skis during the winter months. During the summer, the trails allow access to a 5,000-acre dedicated nature preserve where mixed grass prairie, river bottom forests, and woody draws can be seen.
Fort Clark State Historic Site (ND)
Fort Clark was built in 1830-1831 by the American Fur Company to serve a Mandan Indian earthlodge village built on the site in 1822. The site contains foundations of fort structures, earthlodge depressions, and interpretive signs.
Fort Mandan Historic Site (ND)
Fort Mandan is the reconstructed winter home of the Lewis and Clark Expedition from 1804 to 1805. Located on the banks of the Missouri River, the fort was a place of informational and cultural exchange between the explorers and the Northern Plains Indians. Interpreters are on site daily and there is a visitor center with a gift shop.
Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site (ND)
Knife River was established as a National Park Service in 1974. Within the park, the remains of three Hidatsa village sites, including the Sakakawea site where Sakakawea lived when she met Lewis and Clark, can be found. A state-of-the-art museum deciated to preserving the culture of the Hidatsa, Mandan, and Arikara tribes is located at the visitor center. A 15-minute video about village life can be viewed in the visitor center theater. Also, a full-scale reconstruction of a Hidatsa earthlodge features authentic furnishings.
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (ND)
The North Dakota Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center provides an overview of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, with special emphasis on the time spent at Fort Mandan during the winter of 1804-1805. The displays include Native American artifacts, a buffalo robe visitors will be able to try on, as well as a "cradle-board" much like the one Sakakawea may have used to carry her baby. An authentic wood canoe carved from the trunk of a large cottonwood tree demonstrates the winter preparations the expedition made while at Fort Mandan. The center's Bergquist Gallery features a rare complete set of the printed artworks of Swiss artist Karl Bodmer. The story of nearby Fork Clark is told in a separate exhibit.