Native American Scenic Byway

State: North Dakota, South Dakota
Length: 101 miles / 161.6 km
Time to Allow: Plan at least 2.5 hours for your tour of this Byway.

Explore both North Dakota and South Dakota on the 350 miles Native American Scenic Byway. While the vast majority of the byway lives in South Dakota, you can see some roads in the north too. In addition, visit the reservations of four Lakota Sioux tribes, including Crow Creek, Lower Brule, Cheyenne River, and Standing Rock. Choose this trail if you want to learn more about the heritage of the Sioux Nation and see how the Native Americans lived with sacred sites, museums, and much more.

Pick up the byway in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, next to Lake Oahe, also called the Missouri River. The main attraction is the Prairie Knights Casino and Resort, with a hotel with standard or luxury suites. When not gambling, you can swim in the indoor pool or relaxing in the hot tub. Several dining options in the resort make this a great place to take care of all of your needs.

Follow the river south to Fort Yates, where you can visit the Sitting Bull Visitor Center and burial site. The whole area is in the Standing Rock Indian Reservation that starts in North Dakota and continues into South Dakota. Over the border, you can head to the Grand River Casino and Resort for more nightlight and slot machines.

The city of Mobridge offers more than just a casino. Visit the Klein Museum for some natural history or the Sitting Bull Memorial. Spend the night at the Indian Creek Recreation Area in a cabin or a campsite if you want to boat on the river. The town offers hunting, ice fishing tournaments, shopping, Oscar Howe Murals, and the Walleye Up statue.

Follow the river down and to the left to La Plant, where the byway turns. The next big town is Eagle Butte, where you can visit the Golden Rule Saloon. Both towns sit in the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation close to the Moreau River. Visit the Timber Lake and Area Museum for local culture and history, including marine fossils and local artwork.

Cross over the Cheyenne River and head to Hayes and Fort Pierre, where the Missouri River crosses with the smaller Bad River. This is a larger town with a national park, Rodeo Museum, and a few other museums as well. The town also has the Fort Pierre Chouteau historical site too. Stay at one of several hotels in town, including the highly-rated Eagle’s View B&B.

The byway continues southeast from here, passing Farm Island, Fort Pierre National Grasslands, and into the Lower Brule Indian Reservation. Take the byway all the way to the Crow Creek Indian Reservation to Fort Thompson. In the last town, you can visit the Akta Lakota Museum and the South Dakota Hall of Fame, along with several landmarks and monuments. Check out the Shakespeare Garden and Anne Hathaway Cottage or the historical society museum. The town offers a couple of smaller casinos and accommodations as well. Along the entire trail, the beauty of the river and quaint small towns will help you to feel at peace.

More North Dakota Byways

You can check out additional Byways in North Dakota by clicking on the list of byways below, or by going to the North Dakota Byways home section. To find even more of scenic byways in the United States, visit our scenic byways map.