The city of Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota and the county seat of Burleigh County. It has a population of 73,622 as of the 2020 U.S. Census. The city started on the east bank of the Missouri River when settlers began building the town of Missouri Crossing in 1872. That name commemorated the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossing the river here as they explored the lands acquired in the Louisiana Purchase in the early 19th century. There was previously a Mandan Native American settlement in the area.
Bismarck's 241.67-foot-high capitol building is the highest point in the state and offers an observation deck on the 18th floor that is worth visiting. Another popular Bismarck attraction is the Dakota Zoo, which houses over 80 species of animals and other exhibits. The SuperSlide Amusement Park has games, miniature golf, rides, and slides the whole family can enjoy, or you can head indoors to learn more about the local history and culture at the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum.
During the summer months, McDowell Dam Recreation Area is a popular spot for beach and water activities, and you might like taking a cruise on the Lewis & Clark Riverboat for one of the daily tours. There are more than 90 shops and stores in the Kirkwood Mall, and the Bismarck Downtown Artist Cooperative is a great way to see the works of local artists.
American cuisine is well-represented in Bismarck. Pirogue Grille is one popular restaurant among visitors. Fireflour Pizza also gets good reviews from patrons, as does Kobe's Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar. Stop in at BlarneyStone Pub for a pint with an Irish feel to round off your day of exploration.
A popular RV campground worth considering is Bismarck KOA Journey, with its 130 back-in or pull-through sites. Its spaces have full RV hookups, 30- and 50-amp power, cell reception, and Wi-Fi for guests. You can enjoy a dip in the pool and use the shower facilities. Bike rentals are also available during your stay.
General Sibley Park and Campground is within Bismarck's park system, just off the expressway. It has 46 back-in or pull-through sites with prices starting at $25 per night. You will have access to full RV hookups, 30- and 50-amp power options, cell reception, Wi-Fi service, and shower facilities in a pet-friendly facility.
Lewis & Clark RV Park is a smaller facility, with 28 pull-through sites starting at $25 per night. You will have access to shower facilities and a laundromat, full RV hookups, 30- and 50-amp power, cell reception, and Wi-Fi.
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park is a 13-mile drive from downtown Bismarck, on the west bank of the Missouri River. It covers 1,006 acres and holds attractions like the reconstructed Custer House, barracks, and other military buildings. You will also see a historic cemetery and the On-A-Slant Indian Village here. Popular outdoor activities at the park include camping, fishing, hiking, and sightseeing during the summer. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing. Summers here are hot and humid, while winters are cold, snowy, and windy. There are several RV-friendly campgrounds a short drive from the park.
Cross Ranch State Park is 43 miles north of Bismarck, southeast of the town of Hensler. Its undeveloped shoreline offers a glimpse of what the Missouri River used to look like hundreds of years ago. Like other parts of the state, the temperatures here can get down to two degrees Fahrenheit during the winter. Summer temperatures warm up into the 80s, however. A total of 16 miles of trails offer you a chance to explore on foot. Birding is popular here, and the park provides a checklist to help you keep track of the species you see. Boating and fishing are also popular activities in the park.
West Whitlock State Recreation Area is 159 miles south of Bismarck, near Gettysburg, SD. It is a popular destination that covers 260 acres of a peninsula jutting out into Lake Oahe. Water sports are the top draw at the 370,000-acre reservoir, including this small recreation area on its eastern shores. Anglers come for the chinook salmon, perch, smallmouth bass, white bass, sauger, walleye, and northern pike. Guests also like to canoe, kayak, swim, water ski, and windsurf. Temperatures range from just six degrees Fahrenheit during winter nights to 85 degrees on summer days. West Whitlock Recreation Campground has 105 sites, with RV amenities and enough room to open side-outs.
Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site is 60 miles northwest of Bismarck, east of the town of Hazen. It showcases the Awatixa Site, Sakakawea Site, and Hidatsa Village near the confluence of the Knife and Missouri rivers. Starting at the visitor center, you can follow paths leading to the three locations, learning about the Native Americans who once lived here. The Two Rivers and Village trails are between 1.3 and 3.3 three miles, but they are both rated as easy due to the flat terrain.
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site is 291 miles south of Bismarck by RV and offers a glimpse into America's Cold War history in the second half of the last century. The site provides a tour of an underground launch-control center and an above-ground look at a nuclear missile silo. An unarmed missile sits within the silo today, but this site was one of 1,000 similar facilities housing America's nuclear long-range weapons from the early 1960s through the early 1990s. Once you finish touring the Delta-09 missile silo and Delta-01 launch control facility, stop into the nearby Interior for gas, food, and shopping.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is one of the nation's most unique and recognizable sites, located 322 miles southwest of Bismarck in the Black Hills National Forest of South Dakota. This must-see monument showcases the faces of four US Presidents carved high on the granite cliffs. The Presidents represented include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center, Avenue of Flags, and Sculptor's Studio help set the stage for viewing this monument. It is free to visit, but you will have to pay a $10 parking fee for your RV.
Black Hills National Forest sits 334 miles southwest of Bismarck, west of Rapid City, SD. This 1.25 million acre forest contains the famous Mount Rushmore National Monument. It has 1,300 miles of streams and 11 reservoirs within its borders, making it a great destination for anglers. There are 353 miles of trails you can explore on bike, foot, or horseback. You can spot bison, deer, elk, marmots, mountain goats, and wild turkeys around the forest if you like wildlife viewing.
Chippewa National Forest is 367 miles east of Bismarck, northwest of Deer River, MN. Nearly half the forest contains bodies of water, which you would expect in a state known as the land of 10,000 lakes. It also holds an area of 350-year-old trees. Fishing and other water activities draw most visitors, especially during the summer when it is warm enough to enjoy the water. Driving along scenic routes, backpacking, hiking, and canoeing are all popular ways to enjoy this pristine national forest.
A 374-mile road trip southwest into Montana will get you to Custer National Forest. The woodland area covers more than 1.5 million acres and is one of the nation's more ecologically diverse forests. Rock Creek and Stillwater River are popular with anglers who fly fish, and people enjoy ice fishing in many locations during the winter. Other popular activities here include camping, hiking, geocaching, and stargazing. Bird and nature viewing are popular, with bighorn sheep, bison, coyotes, elk, grizzly bears, marmots, moose, prairie dogs, and pronghorns spotted within Custer National Forest.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is about 133 miles west of Bismarck, along I-94. Named after the 26th President, this national park covers 70,466 acres and includes terrain like badlands, open prairie, and the Little Missouri River. It showcases one of the most pristine natural habitats for bison in the nation. Keep an eye out to spot the bobcats, coyotes, elk, horses, prairie dogs, and pronghorns during your visit. You can enjoy backpacking, backcountry camping, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, and hiking while you are here. Drive the Scenic Loop Drive in your RV and stop at the many overlooks throughout the park for great photo opportunities. There are several visitor centers and be sure to make time to visit the historic Maltese Cross Ranch Cabin.
A 294-mile road trip south into South Dakota will bring you to Badlands National Park. The Badlands offer 370 square miles of unique landscapes to view, photograph, and explore. Weather reaches extremes here, with lows down to -40 degrees and highs reaching 110 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the time of year. There are two on-site established campgrounds here, but only the Cedar Pass facility can handle motor homes longer than 18 feet. Start with a visit to the Ben Reifel or White River visitor center to orient yourself, and then enjoy driving the Badlands Loop Road to get a good view of the park from your RV. Outside of backpacking, camping, and hiking, you might also want to stop at the Fossil Preparation Lab to watch paleontologists work on fossils that have been found within the park.
Another South Dakota destination 338 miles southwest of Bismarck is Wind Cave National Park, which is 54 miles west of Badlands National Park. Wind Cave National Park is home to one of the world's lengthiest and most complex underground cave systems. This park also includes the largest remaining mixed-grass prairie and has a 28,295-acre wildlife sanctuary. Camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing are the main draws when visiting this park. Summer temperatures can climb into the 80s, and winter lows reach the teens. If you visit in the summertime, be aware that severe thunderstorms are common and can produce lots of lightning and large hail.
In most areas, the price to rent a motorhome is around $200 a night and the price to rent a towable trailer is around $120 a night.What does RVshare Protection cover with my Bismarck, ND RV rental?
RVshare's protection plan standard package covers up to $300,000 in comprehensive and collision coverage based on the value of the RV. It also includes free 24/7 roadside assistance and free towing and tire service. For more information on RVshare insurance, click here.What do I need to know before renting an RV in Bismarck, ND?
Bismarck has plenty of freeway access to make RV driving a breeze. But the city also has ample parks, bodies of water and open spaces to visit. Be sure to include time in your plans to explore North Dakota Heritage Center, visit the Dakota Zoo, or try a riverboat cruise.What are the RV rental requirements in Bismarck, ND?
There is no special license needed to rent an RV, but it never hurts to check state websites. if you are unsure about traveling there and any regulations they may have, double-checking with the state will provide some peace of mind!What are some tips for first-time RV renters in Bismarck, ND?
Renting an RV in Bismarck, ND means endless blue skies and wide open roads. With all the wide open space between destinations, make sure you have a full tank of gas and plenty of food before you hit the road. You'll find RV campgrounds with showers, laundry, and other amenities. Busy season is in the summer so book early to get your spot, or visit off-season to avoid crowds.What are the minimum age requirements for renting an RV in Bismarck, ND?
The minimum age requirement for renting an RV is 25.What is included in my Bismarck, ND RV rental?
You should find any amenities that are included with your rental in the listing details. But it never hurts to check in with the owner before you arrive at the RV or have it delivered to ensure you have everything that is needed to have a fun and enjoyable trip!Are there pet friendly RVs for rent in Bismarck, ND?
Looking for a pet friendly RV rental? Use the pet-friendly filter when searching on RVshare.com to find the perfect one for you!Can I have my Bismarck, ND RV rental delivered to a specified location?
Many owners on RVshare.com offer delivery, and will even set it up for you at the campsite. Choose the 'Delivery' filter to narrow down your search results to RVs that can be brought to your home or destination. Check the listing details for any information regarding extra fees for delivery, or ask the owner if you are unsure.Are there one way rental options from Bismarck, ND?
One way rentals can add flexibility to your trip, but there are typically costs associated with returning the RV back to the owner. Learn more about one way rental options at rvshare.com/one-way-rv-rentals.