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“Interesting historical visit!”

Knife River Indian Villages Historic Site
Modesto, California
Level Contributor
578 reviews
252 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 532 helpful votes
“Interesting historical visit!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2012

Visited here last month while vacationing in North Dakota. We started out in the visitor center seeing the exhibits and watching the film about living in an indian village which is very good. We then went outside the center and saw the recreated earth lodge which was also furnished inside. I really was intrigued with the earth lodge which is roomier inside than it appears outside and also a few degrees cooler. We also took the path to the first Hidatsa village site where remains of the earth mounds can be viewed. The area is pretty and it was a nice walk. You are able to view a mowed field with mounds where the earth lodges once stood. It is rather amazing that these mounds have endured over all these years since I believe the last earthlodges were built in the late 1800's. An earthlodge typically only lasted five to ten years before having to be rebuilt. There are two other village sites we could have walked further to for a visit, but due to time constraints we only walked to the first village which was maybe 1/4 mile from the Visitor Center. You can walk 5+ miles on trails through this National Park site. I found the life of the Hidatsa/Mandan people quite interesting so I bought a book at the Visitor Center regarding Bird Woman's gardening/farming practices and life in the village. It was a fascinating read as Bird Woman was interviewed by an anthropologist in the late 1800's and was noted to be one of the last of native peoples in this area to live in one of these villages before the Indians in her village were placed on the Fort Berthold Reservation. Reading her story later made my visit to Knife River come alive again and enriched my visit. I would recommend Knife River as a very interesting and pretty historical site and a valuable reminder of Indian culture/life in this area of North Dakota. It is free to visit this site.

Visited June 2012
2 Thank MSWMom50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Reading, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
345 reviews
255 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 257 helpful votes
“Worth a stop if you're also going to Ft. Mandan”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2012

The Knife River Indian Villages are primarily an archaeological site, and any excavations have been re-covered. Be prepared to look mostly at mounds; however, the walk among the sites is nice. Also, the NPS has recreated an earthen lodge that is well done and gives you an idea of what life was like. The film in the visitor's center is excellent-don't miss it!

Visited July 2011
Thank TravelsWithRuby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fargo, North Dakota
Level Contributor
156 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“Stretch Your Legs Here”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2011

This National Park Service site is somewhat under-utilized, but well worth the diversion off I-94. I have taken college student groups here maybe a dozen times, always with good orientation and hospitality offered by NPS staff, and enthusiastic reactions elicited from the students. Here's my main message: take the hike out onto the village sites, which you can roam at will, and take the riverside loop, too, where you can see whatever artifacts the current year's erosion has exposed. A fascinating hike and a great (low-impact) opportunity to stretch your legs.

Visited August 2011
1 Thank Isern1952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silverdale, Washington
Level Contributor
614 reviews
499 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 269 helpful votes
“Very Interesting!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2011

Knife River Indian Villages NHS marks the village where Sacagawea lived before she went with Lewis and Clark on their exciting journey. The visitor's center has many displays on how native americans lived years ago in this area of North Dakota. Right outside the center is a replica of an earthlodge, with a lot of the same artifacts you would have seen in them over a century ago. From the earthlodge, there is a hiking trail that goes through two village sites before coming to the Knife River. The brochure has a small map that shows directions to another village site. Overall, a very fascinating learning experience in a beautiful area of North Dakota.

Visited August 2011
Thank AF_Hiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“An Amazing Experience Worth Going Out of Your Way For”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2011

This gives a great display of the history of Fort Berthold and the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes. The staff are wonderful and willing to talk. Just imagining the people at the Big Hidatsa village before small pox gives great pause for thought. You really don't understand the history of the area until you have visited the villages. It is the perfect complement to visiting the reconstructed earthlodge village near Four Bears (New Town) on the reservation.

Visited July 2011
1 Thank William H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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