Touring The Byway
64 Miles | 5 Days/4 Nights | Gateway City: Dickinson, North Dakota
The Byway begins north of Manning on Highway 22 through Killdeer to Highway 23, then east to New Town.
From the Killdeer Mountains to the deeply entrenched Little Missouri River Breaks and Badlands, the landscapes on this 64-mile drive are some of the most unique and enchanting in North Dakota. Immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes that is displayed alongside the cowboy and rodeo motif that embraces the entire state!
We recommend starting your journey in Dickinson, the “Queen City of the Prairies.” Discover the heritage of the area at the Dickinson Museum Center with life-sized dinosaurs and an array of fossils. Venture on to New Hradec, settled in 1861, 15 miles north of Dickinson to visit the only documented community of Crimean Bohemians in the United States.
Sites along the Byway include the Hurmacher Farm, Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge, Dunn Center, Killdeer Mountain Battlefield, and The Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The unspoiled beauty of the Badlands remains virtually unchanged as you reach Crow Flies High Butte Overlook where William Clark waited to reunite with Meriwether Lewis.
Four Bears Bridge takes you into New Town, home of the historic Earth Lodges, which the MHA nation restored for spiritual activities and as a way to illustrate early life in the area. From there, we wish you a safe and pleasant journey home, or on another North Dakota Scenic Byway.
Download the detailed itinerary for the full tour of the Byway which includes the highlighted attractions below and much more!
The 12-acre campus of the Dickinson Museum Center hosts four complimentary parts that include the Badlands Dinosaur Museum, with the largest collection of dinosaur fossils on display in North Dakota. The collection includes a complete Triceratops skull, six full dinosaur skeletons, hundreds of fossils, and a colorful mineral collection. You can watch the paleontologists at work in the fossil lab preparing recently discovered fossils for display. The Joachim Regional Museum celebrates Dickinson’s heritage. Prairie Outpost Park features historic and ethnic structures that tell the story of southwest North Dakota. Pioneer Machinery Hall holds a marvelous collection of historic agricultural implements.
The first Ukrainian immigrants escaping Protestant persecutions in Czarist Russia, came to North Dakota in 1867, attracted by the ability to own land Homestead Act to be able to own land.
The Cultural Institute features folk art, cultural exhibits, religious displays, and a research library, plus showcasing beautiful hand-crafted “Psyanky” Eggs, each one individually created with themes and stories. Embroidered cloths adorn the walls next to the heritage paintings of the early settlers. The museum’s Varenyky, better known as “Cheese Buttons” are distributed in stores across the upper Midwest. Traditional Lenten meals and summer events feature the history and “Stepovi Dity,” Ukrainian dancers in colorful costumes.
Located near the beginning of the Killdeer Four Bears Scenic Byway, the Hutmacher Farmstead illustrates early life in the area. With no trees available, and lumber too expensive, for many years settlers lived in sod houses, with vermin and insects, and roofs that needed constant attention. This farm in particular, considered the Midwest’s finest example of an earthen house, was constructed in 1911 by immigrants from South Russia, reflecting traditional ethnic architecture from the Black Sea region of Russia and Ukraine, that was also home to many German Russians. The structures here include a house, below-grade cellar, the ruins of a barn and granary, a summer kitchen, butchering shed, poultry barn and a garage, which likely held livestock. Exterior surfaces of the sandstone walls were covered with a mixture of clay and chapped straw. The walls and roofs are currently being rebuilt and visitors with extra time are welcome to participate in the restoration and preservation of the site.
By the time you reach Little Missouri State Park on the Byway, you have reached the rough and tumble North Dakota Badlands. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the waterways rolling through the rugged landscape on any one of the 45 miles of trails in the Park.
The building that housing the Three Affiliated Tribes Museum also serves as a heritage center to preserve and illustrate the history and culture of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara people. Many of the Native American treasures on display were salvaged by one visionary woman before they were submerged in the lake.