Touring the Byway
22 Miles | 4 Days/3 Nights | Gateway City: Bismarck/Mandan, North Dakota
On Highway 200A from Washburn to Stanton you’ll follow the route of Lewis and Clark’s journey on the high ground above the winding Missouri River! Featuring fantastic views and intriguing sites, you’ll discover the history and culture of the native peoples who lived in the rolling hills and wooded valleys of the Missouri and Knife Rivers.
We recommend starting your journey in Bismarck for an introduction into Native American cultures in North Dakota, and Lewis and Clark. Starting at the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum, you can also enjoy the Lewis and Clark Riverboat to ply the Missouri River as the Expedition did.
On your way to the Sakakawea Scenic Byway, explore Double Ditch Indian Village State Historic Site. When you reach Washburn, you’ll discover one of the most remarkable Lewis and Clark collections in the country at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.
Further west, the Fort Clark Historic Site replicates a fur-trading outpost, followed by the crown jewel of the Byway, Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site. Here you can walk among the remains of the Mandan and Hidatsa villages and the home of Sakakawea, the Native American guide who got Lewis and Clark to the Pacific Ocean.
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!
Ply the Missouri River on the Lewis and Clark Riverboat, continuing the proud tradition of Missouri River steamers at the Port of Bismarck.
Native Artists United Guild is a women-owned Native Cooperative formed by local artists who have revitalized Native American art and economy. They do business as the Five Nations Art store, supporting the livelihood of Native artists by gifting knowledge, building capacity and showcasing Native art.
Detailed and dramatic interpretation of Lewis and Clark’s journey is on display at the crossroads of culture and commerce on the Northern Plains. When Lewis & Clark arrived at the Mandan and Hidatsa villages in 1804, they simply became the most famous of many people who would visit. State-of-the-art exhibits, hundreds of period artifacts, and friendly interpreters reveal the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. To add further insights, Karl Bodmer’s watercolors and Maximilian’s written descriptions are considered the most complete and reliable eyewitness account of the Upper Midwest Native Americans. The Bergquist Gallery is only one of four galleries in the world to house a complete collection of Karl Bodmer prints, which are rotated on a seasonal basis.
Fort Mandan is an authentic replica of the fort where Lewis and Clark wintered. The Mandan and Hidatsa people were very hospitable, making their stay as comfortable as possible. Guided tours bring the stories of that winter to life.
The Knife River Indian Village was the major Native American trading center for hundreds of years before French Canadian arrived in the area around 1750. Begin your visit by watching Maxidiwiac, the 15-minute film about the Buffalo Bird Woman who lived in the villages. Explore the museum to learn about the Hidatsa people in exhibits that feature artifacts recovered from the village sites. Then head outside to see the full-scale Earth lodge, Hidatsa garden, and village sites and walk the Village Trail to see the remains of the Awatixa Xi’e Village and Awatixa Village. A loop from the second village includes a walk along the Knife River.