Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Photo by Philberts, Creative Commons

Native American Scenic Tour 2 Day RV Itinerary

Image from www.byways.orgBastion at Fort Manuel Lisa Image from www.byways.org

Day 1


Start: Akta Lakota Museum

The Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center is devoted to preserving and promoting Sioux culture, past and present. The museum is located at the St. Joseph's Indian School for Native American Youth.

Stop 1: Crow Creek Indian Reservation

Directions from previous place:     

Follow SD-50 northwards for 12 miles, then turn left onto BIA-4 and continue for 2.2 miles. BIA-4 becomes E Fort Thompson Road, continue for 5.3 miles into Fort Thompson
Distance from Previous Site:          19.5 miles / 31.2 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     25 minutes

This is the home of the Mdewakanton (People of Spirit Lake) and Ihanktonwan (People of the End) bands of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe in Central South Dakota.

Stop 2: Lower Brule Indian Reservation

Directions from previous place:     

From Fort Thompson Road, turn left onto SD-47 and continue 5.7 miles. Turn right and continue for 8.3 miles.
Distance from Previous Site:          16 miles / 25.6 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     20 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:            2 hours 30 minutes

The Reservation for the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe is located along the southwestern shore of the Big Bend of the Missouri River. Visitors to the reservation enjoy the tribal casino as well as visits to Lake Sharpe and the Big Bend Dam.

Stop 3: Farm Island Recreation Area

Directions from previous place:     

From Lower Brule, head west on BIA road 10. Continue for approximately 7.5 miles. Turn right onto SR 1806, and continue for approximately 15 miles.
Distance from Previous Site:          22.5 miles / 36.0 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     30 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:             2 hours

The park is nestled along the shores of the Missouri River and provides a great place for a variety of outdoor recreation activities. Camping, boating, and fishing are popular activities here. Swimmers enjoy the beach of the Missouri River.

End: Pierre

Directions from previous place:     

Travel four miles west along SR 1806 to reach the Pierre City limits.
Distance from Previous Site:            4 miles / 6.4 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     10 minutes

Visitors can begin traveling the Native American Scenic Byway at the north terminus at the South Dakota capital of Pierre. While in Pierre, visitors can tour the Cultural Heritage Center which showcases South Dakota history. An extensive collection tells the story of the Great Sioux Nation. Also in Pierre is the State Capitol building which has been deemed one of the most fully restored Capitol buildings in the United States. The building looks much as it did when completed in 1910.

Totals for Day 1
Total Distance Traveled:     62 miles / 99.2 km
Total Travel Time:                    1 hour 25 minutes
Total Stopping Time:               4 hours 30 minutes

Day 2


Stop 1: Fisher's Lilly Park

Directions from previous place:     

Start out going southwest on US-14 / US-83 / S EUCLID AVE toward E Pleasant Dr., then continue to follow US-14 / US-83 for 0.2 miles. Turn right onto US-14 / US-83 / SD-34 / W SIOUX AVE. Continue to follow US-83 S. for 2.5 miles. Turn left onto W Main Ave and continue across the bridge in Fort Pierre to reach Fisher's Lilly Park.
Distance from Previous Site:             3 miles / 4.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:            1 hour

This historical site commemorates the meeting between the Teton Sioux and Lewis & Clark. It is also near the site where they held their first council.

Stop 2: Eagle Butte and the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation

Directions from previous place:     

Turn right onto 1st St. / US-83 / SD-1806 / SD-1806. Continue to follow US-83 N / SD-1806 N for 1.1 miles. Turn left onto US-14 / SD-1806 / SD-34. Continue to follow SD-34 for 38.2 miles. Turn right onto SD-63 and continue for 48.1 miles. Turn right onto US-212 / SD-63 and continue for 1.8 miles Turn right and continue for 0.3 miles. Turn left and continue for 0.3 miles. Turn right onto Main St. in Eagle Butte.
Distance from Previous Site:        90 miles / 144.0 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     1 hour 50 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          2 hours

Eagle Butte is the center of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. In Eagle Butte, the H.V. Johnston Cultural Center provides a museum and gift shop, and serves as a local activity center. While traveling Highway 65, be sure to look for the Cheyenne River Pullout. This scenic overlook features interpretive signs with the history of the Cheyenne River Valley, including the history of Chief Big Foot's Village.

Stop 3: Sakakawea and Sitting Bull Monuments

Directions from previous place:     

Go East on Highway 212 and continue for approximately 50 miles. Turn right onto BIA road 8 and continue for 30 miles to the junction with SR 20. Turn right onto SR 20, and follow the road as it curves north. Turn right (east) on Highway 12, and continue for 2 miles. Turn right from Highway 12 and follow the road to the monuments.
Distance from Previous Site:        82 miles / 131.2 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     1 hour 50 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:        30 minutes

These two monuments commemorate the lives of Sakakawea and Sitting Bull with plaques that recount their history.

Stop 4: Fort Manuel

Directions from previous place:     

Return northwards then turn right onto Highway 12. Continue for 2 miles, then turn left onto SR 1806 and continue for 22 miles. Continue for a mile beyond Kenel to find the fort.
Distance from Previous Site:           25 miles / 40.0 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     45 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:             2 hours 30 minutes

A replica of Fort Manuel, built in its original dimensions, overlooks the Missouri River. The fort houses a museum that describes the fur trade's impact on Native Americans.

Stop 5: Fort Yates Stockade

Directions from previous place:     

Turn onto SD-1806 heading northward and continue for 10 miles. SD-1806 becomes unnamed road, but continue for 0.8 miles. Continue onto CR-4365 for 8.3 miles. Turn onto ND-24 and continue for 2.3 miles. Turn right onto CR-4320 and continue for 1.7 miles into the city of Fort Yates.
Distance from Previous Site:          23.1 miles / 37.0 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     30 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:             1 hour

The Fort Yates Stockade is the only building that remains intact from the military post established in 1874. Situated in downtown Fort Yates, the building allows visitors to experience life on the prairie.

End: Holy Hills of the Mandan Indians

Directions from previous place:     

From Fort Yates, retrace the route back to SR 1806. Turn right to continue northward on the byway. These hills mark the northern terminus of the byway.

Early legend describes these hills as the resting place of the first Mandan's bullboats after the great flood. These hills lie at the boundary of the Standing Rock Scenic Byway in North Dakota, marking the northern terminus of the Native American Scenic Byway.

Totals for Day 2
Total Distance Traveled:     223.1 miles / 357.0 km
Total Travel Time:                      5 hours 5 minutes
Total Stopping Time:                 7 hours

Featured content and image from www.byways.org

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