Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

Quick Facts

Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

North Dakota

(701) 745-3300

Map Directions

Things To Do


Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site was established October 26, 1974. The 1,758 acre site preserves historic and archaelogical remnants of the culture and agricultural lifestyle of the Northern Plains Indians. More than fifty archaeological sites suggest a possible 8,000 year span of inhabitation, ending with five centuries of Hidatsa earthlodge village occupation. The circular depressions at the three village sites are up to 40 feet in diameter and are a silent testimony to the people that lived here.

The "Northern Plains Indian Culture Fest" is held annually during the last full weekend in July at Knife River Indian Villages NHS. The event encompasses a wide range of activities exemplifying the Northern Plains tribes that frequented the Knife River area from several thousand years ago to the present. Activities may include: archeology talks, flint knapping, beadworking, porcupine quill work, brain tanning hides, blacksmith trade items, Northern Plains dances, and Indian flute music. Rolling hills and the Knife River serve as the backdrop for this two day event, regularly scheduled programs and demonstrations by skilled artisans highlight the Northern Plains Indian culture.

Map of Knife River Indian Villages

Latitude, Longitude: 47.354693, -101.379975



  • Bicycling

    Bicycles are not allowed on trails.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is permitted along the Knife and Missouri Rivers with a North Dakota License.

  • Hiking

    Visitors may take ranger guided tours or self-guided walks to three village sites in the 1,758 acre park. Evidence of earthlodges, fortification ditches, cache pits and artifacts are visible. Trails vary in length from one-half to seven miles and take hikers through prairie and woodland ecosystems. Pets are permitted on trails but must be on a leash at all times. Pets are not allowed in the Visitor Center or earthlodge.

  • Picnicking

    Visitors may picnic at the picnic shelter near the visitor center or the Stanton city park.

  • Water Sports

    Swimming in the rivers is allowed at your own risk.

  • Winter Sports

    Two Rivers and North Forest trails are groomed for cross-country skiing in the winter time.



One-half mile north of Stanton, ND on County Road 37. One hour northwest of Bismarck, ND and one and half hour southwest of Minot, ND.


Fly into Bismarck or Minot, ND. Hazen, ND (15 miles from site) has an airport for small planes.

Public Transportation

Charter and tour bus parking available at Visitor Center parking lot.

Phone Numbers


(701) 745-3300