Home Archaeological Tours Highlights of the Northern Plains

Highlights of the Northern Plains

The Mandan and Hidatsa peoples lived in villages consisting of earthlodges. Credit: NPS
The Mandan and Hidatsa peoples lived in villages consisting of earthlodges. Credit: NPS

 

When: June 9 – 14, 2016
Where: North Dakota
How Much: $1,395 per person ($295 single supplement)

Beginning and ending in Bismarck, North Dakota, this new tour will explore some of the unique and fascinating historic places of the Northern Plains. We’ll visit Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, which preserves the remains of five historic period Mandan/Hidatsa villages, including the “hometown” of Sacagawea, the guide for Lewis and Clark. We’ll also visit a number of prehistoric Native American sites including Double Ditch and Huff Indian Village State Historic sites, well preserved Plains Village Tradition villages, and the Knife River Chert Quarries, one of the largest prehistoric quarry sites in North America.

Tour Full, Wait list Only. Explore our other Tours

To join us on this tour, or for further information, contact us at tours.tac@gmail.com or by phone at (505) 266-1540.

Thursday, June 9

Join us in Bismarck with an opening reception at the Bismarck Radisson. We’ll spend our first of three nights here.

Friday June 10

We’ll begin exploring the historical highlights of the Bismarck area with a trip to the North Dakota Heritage Center noted for its archaeological, paleontological and historical exhibits. We’ll then take a short drive to Huff Indian Village State Historic Site, a prehistoric Mandan village dating to about A.D. 1450. We’ll then visit Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park and On-a-Slant Village. The village, which shares the grounds with the fort, is a partially reconstructed Mandan village dating to about A.D. 1500 and later. Fort Abraham Lincoln is the partially reconstructed home of George Armstrong Custer’s Seventh Cavalry. We’ll have a picnic lunch on the grounds, before driving north of Bismarck to visit Double Ditch Indian Village State Historic Site. Double Ditch is perhaps the most visually impressive archaeological site on the Northern Plains. The 15-acre site, encircled by a series of walls and ditches, has a commanding view of the Missouri River, scores of house basins, and trash mounds rising to 15 feet. We’ll return to Bismarck for an evening reception.

Saturday June 11

We’ll drive about an hour north to Washburn, home of the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan. The interpretive center tells the story of the Corps of Discovery’s 1804-1806 journey to the Pacific and back. Fort Mandan is a reconstruction of the fort where the Corps spent the winter of 1804. In the afternoon, we’ll visit Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site which preserves the remains of the village where Sakagawea met Lewis and Clark. The exhibits tell the story of the three principal Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara villages that occupied the property. We’ll return to Bismarck for an evening reception.

Sunday June 12

We’ll check out of the Bismarck Radisson and head further west onto the plains. Our first stop will be the Lynch Knife River Chert Quarries, a National Historic Landmark. Hundreds of pits mark where American Indians mined Knife River chert, a stone valued for toolmaking, for over 11,000 years. We’ll travel further west into the North Dakota Badlands, described as “hell with the fires put out.” We’ll visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park, where we’ll see Roosevelt’s ranch cabin dating to the 1880s and take a drive through the park to view scenery and wildlife. We’ll spend the night in Medora.

Monday June 13

We make a morning visit to Chateau de Mores State Historic Site. The 26-room chateau has many of the original furnishings of the Marquis de Mores, who founded Medora in 1883 as the hub of his meat-packing and other commercial enterprises. Afterwards, we’ll visit the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, with its museum dedicated to ranching and the cowboy life. We’ll return to Bismarck in the afternoon for a final reception and night in the Bismarck Radisson.

Tuesday, June 14

Participants depart for home.

Tour Details

Cost includes class hotel accommodations based on double occupancy (single supplement is $295), tour guides, fees, lunches, refreshments, cocktails and land transportation via air-conditioned bus with restroom. Not included is transportation to and from Bismarck and meals other than lunches.

NOTE: A moderate amount of walking is required.

To join us on this tour, or for further information, contact us at tours.tac@gmail.com or by phone at (505) 266-1540.

Explore our other Archaeological Adventure Tours

Save