June 5, 2023


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Pet Friendly Knife River Indian Villages in North Dakota

4 min read

Examine the pet pleasant Knife River Indian Villages! Study how persons have lived, labored, and socialized below for extra than 11,000 a long time.

Two dogs sitting in the doorway of an earthen lodge at the pet friendly Knife River Indian Villages in North Dakota


Heritage of Knife River Indian Villages

This quiet location along the Knife River, surrounded by farmland as significantly as you can see, was not often so tranquil. At one time, virtually 400 people referred to as this put household. And archeologists believe that this region has been occupied for more than 11,000 years!

A brown dog and a white dog on a wooden observation deck overlooking the Knife River

Extensive in advance of Europeans arrived in the Americas, the Upper Missouri River and its tributaries have been acting as a highway connecting native people today. The financial institutions of the waterways also provided berries, nuts, and protect for recreation. The earliest people to stop by below were nomadic, passing by as they hunted.

Sooner or later, the hunter-gathers followed. And the abundant soil they observed allowed them to undertake agriculture and develop long term villages. They harvested the bounty supplied by the river as it cut by way of the prairie.

Then arrived the Hidatsa and Mandan. They’d been dwelling along the Knife River for a lot more than 200 a long time when the initially French trader arrived in their village in 1738.

Study Extra ⇒ North Dakota’s Best Canine Helpful Locations

North Dakota's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Knife River Indian Villages | GoPetFriendly.com
Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site - ND


All through the summertime, the tribes lived on the natural terraces in the vicinity of the river in huge earthen lodges. Measuring 30 to 60 ft in diameter, the ladies of the village ended up in charge of property building.

Each individual lodge was dwelling to prolonged households of 5 to 15 folks. Females also tended the gardens, which offered substantially of the family’s food.

The gentlemen concentrated generally on searching and raiding. Bison, deer, smaller match, and fish supplemented their food plan. These animals also supplied hides and bone for equipment. Raiding was a way to accumulate horses and other loot.

North Dakota's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Knife River Indian Villages | GoPetFriendly.com
North Dakota's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Knife River Indian Villages | GoPetFriendly.com
North Dakota's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Knife River Indian Villages | GoPetFriendly.com


Lewis and Clark Meet Sakakawea

In 1804, Captains William Clark and Meriwether Lewis embarked from St. Louis on their mission to investigate the Missouri River. They were being searching for a passage to the Pacific Ocean.

Right after touring 1,600 miles, they arrived in what is now the Knife River Indian Villages. And with winter season approaching, they created a fort and prepared to proceed their travels in the spring. Lewis and Clark named their article Fort Mandan, in honor of their neighbors. All through the winter season the vacationers frequented and shared information with the tribe.

A white dog and a brown dog standing at the grass overlook of the Knife River

Sooner or later, Louis and Clark met Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-Canadian trader. He’d been living among the Hidatsa with his wife, Sakakawea (Sacagewea). Lewis and Clark recognized that Sakakawea’s translations of the tribal languages could be invaluable on their journey. So they hired Charbonneau and he, Sakakawea, and their son, Jean Baptiste, joined the expedition.

While the group did achieve the Pacific Ocean, they learned no waterway throughout the land. By August 1806, the expedition experienced returned to the Knife River. Charbonneau, Sakakawea, and their son returned to reside with their Hidatsa family.

An informational sign about the Awatixa Village in front the open field where it used to exist


Abandoning The Villages

In excess of time, westerners uncovered the native people to health conditions for which they experienced no natural immunity. In 1837, a smallpox epidemic decimated numerous Indian nations.

By 1845, the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes experienced deserted their villages together the Knife River for a much more remote place. Now all the noticeable evidence that’s left of these fantastic villages are the depressions in the floor the place the earthen lodges as soon as stood.

A white dog on a hiking path along a grassy field

Animals at Knife River Indian Villages

Leashed pets are welcome to wander the trails and discover the grounds at the Knife River Indian Villages website with you. They’re not permitted inside of the customer heart or the reconstructed earthen lodge.

The Village Path can be accessed from the customer heart. The North Forest Trail and Two Rivers Path are accessible from parking regions on Hwy 18. Maps are out there at the customer center.

Pet Procedures at Knife River Indian Villages

  • Leashes are required and pet squander have to be cleaned up and disposed of thoroughly
  • Pets are welcome on all trails and in the course of the grounds
  • Animals are not permitted inside of buildings or the reconstructed earthen lodge
Two dogs sitting in front of the Knife River Indian Villages sign


The Village Path supplies the finest views of the former village web sites. It is a beautiful walk to the tranquil Knife River.

The rangers at this recreation web-site are also pretty friendly and enlightening. They’re satisfied to offer you with a tour of the reconstructed lodge powering the visitor middle, so be certain to inquire.

1 especially astonishing reality: it took about 9 months to finish the reconstructed lodge with modern-day devices. In contrast, the moment the supplies have been collected, the ladies of the village made a new lodge in 7 to 10 days!

A brown dog hiking along the trail at Knife River Indian Villages
A brown dog and a white dog looking out over the Knife River from a wood platform overlook


More To See

When you are in the area, be positive to check out Lake Sakakawea Condition Park. And if you are heading west, look at out Theodore Roosevelt Nationwide Park in Medora.

We hope this put up will help make your journey to North Dakota even extra enjoyment!

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