The Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, which was established in 1974, preserves the historic and archaeological remnants of the Northern Plains Indians. This area was a major trading and agricultural area. There were three villages that occupied the Knife area. In general, these three villages are known as the Hidatsa villages. Broken down, the individual villages are Awatixa Xi’e (lower Hidatsa village), Awatixa and Big Hidatsa village. Awatixa Xi’e is believed to be the oldest village of the three. The Big Hidatsa village was established around 1600.
The Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site is located in central North Dakota, where the Knife River joins the Missouri River. The village is located ½ mile north of Stanton, North Dakota, 1 hour north west of Bismarck, ND, and 1 ½ hours south west of Minot, ND. The Knife River is a tributary to the Missouri River. Scenic sights such as broad plains, river bluffs and river bottom forests can all be seen along the two rivers. The national park borders both sides of the Knife River, which creates a forested peninsula along the length of the river.The Missouri River is also known as the “Big Muddy” due to its high sedimentation loads. The Missouri River drains approximately one-sixth of the United States and encompasses 529,350 square miles (1,371,000 km2). During the pre-development period, the Missouri River represented one of North America’s most diverse ecosystems.
Summer hours:8:00am - 6:00pm Central Daylight Time- Memorial Day through Labor Day. Winter hours: 8:00am - 4:30pm Central Standard Time- Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.