564 County Road 37
Stanton, ND 58571
Are you looking for a fun and cultural day trip? Knife River Indian Villages in Stanton North Dakota is the perfect stop for a big slice of North Dakota history. You can feed your sense of adventure by exploring the park year-round. Whether you’re interested in Native American history, Lewis and Clark, natural history (ornithology, entomology, botany, meteorology, or astronomy), or enjoying picturesque scenery, you can find it here.
The park is open daily year round from sunrise to sunset. The visitors center has a gift shop and exhibits that are open to the public daily from 9-5 with some holiday closures. It’s always free to tour, take a hike or explore the Visitors center.
What is there to do?
- Watch the 15 minute orientation film Maxidiwiac about the life of Buffalo Bird Woman who lived at the Knife River Indian Villages.
- Explore the museum and learn about the history and culture of the Hidatsa people. The exhibits feature artifacts recovered from the village sites as well as decorative arts of Northern Plains Indians.
- Head outside to see the full scale reconstructed Earthlodge, Hidatsa garden, and village sites.
- Walk down the Village Trail (1.3 mi/2.1km) and see the remains of the Awatixa Xi’e Village (Lower Hidatsa Site) and Awatixa Village (Sakakawea Site). There is a loop at the second village site that includes a walk along the Knife River.
- Hike the North Forest Trail loop (2.2 mi/3.5 km) through bottomland forest and native prairie. Continue onto the Missouri overlook loop (2.8 mi/4.5 km) for spectacular views of the Missouri River. Upon entering the forest, you can also choose to walk 0.1 miles on the Big Hidatsa Trail to the Hidatsa Village (Big Hidatsa Site)
- Grab your binoculars and a birding checklist from the visitor center to spot your favorite raptors, waterfowl, thrushes, warblers, and many other birds along the park’s trails.
- Hike the Two Rivers Trail (6.2 mi/10 km) that follows the Knife River to the south end of the park. At the southern tip of the trail, you can see where the Knife River flows into the Missouri River.
- Try your hand at catching northern pike, walleye, catfish, and trout along the Knife and Missouri Rivers. Knife River Indian Villages NHS follows North Dakota state rules and regulations. For more information, go to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website.
There is no food or drinks for sale in the park so visit Stanton first to stock up. There is a covered picnic area to enjoy food that you bring in.