Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

Learn about the Native Americans who lived along the Knife River in North Dakota by visiting the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site. At the confluence of the Knife River and the Missouri River near Staton, this site includes three Indian villages: the Awatixa Site, Sakawea Site, and Hidatsa Village. As you leave the visitor center, the first village you come to is the Awatixa Site, also referred to as the Lower Hidatsa site, which was the home to approximately 1,000 people from 1780 to 1785, although it may have been established as early as 1525. Follow the path further to the north, and you will arrive at Awatixa Site, also called the Sacagawea Site, which was occupied from 1790 when a smallpox epidemic forced the inhabitants out of the Awatixa Site until 1834 when a Sioux Indian raid burned the 60 earth lodges to the ground. Follow the Two Rivers Trail further north to arrive at the Hidatsa Village, which was possibly established as early as 1600 and was occupied until about 1840; this village that contained about 100 earth lodges is the best-preserved property at this site. 

Things to Do

Things To Do Near Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

Start your visit to Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site by visiting the museum and watching the visitor center's films. Then, follow the short path to see the first two villages. Hop in your car and drive to the Hidatsa Village or hike there by following the Two Rivers Trail. Then, walk further north to visit the historic village remains. End your day by fishing in the Knife or Missouri Rivers.

Hiking Trails



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map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How To Get To Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

Start your visit to Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site at the visitor center. You can get to this location from Bismarck by taking Interstate 95 West to Exit 147. Turn right on North Dakota-25 North. Then, turn right on 28th Avenue Southwest. Turn left on North Dakota 200 Alternate West. Turn right on North Dakota 31 North, which becomes County Road 37. Continue until you reach your destination. 


564 County Rd 37, Stanton, ND 58571

Fee: Entry fee $0

Learn more about the Northern Plains Native Americans by going to the Knife River Indian Village near Staton, North Dakota. Explore the three sites where these Native Americans lived as late as 1850. Learn how Lewis and Clark met Sacagawea at this site. Then, fish the Knife and Missouri Rivers. There's plenty of small towns to explore nearby. Especially since this site is so isolated, you will want to bring your RV to make it easier to get around. If you do not have an RV, rent one on RVshare.com. Then, you will be covered by 24/7 roadside assistance. You will find several different choices of RVs available, so choose the one that meets your needs the best.