North Dakota Water Science Center
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The Knife River originates in the badlands area in west-central North Dakota and flows in an easterly direction for about 200 miles to its confluence with the Missouri River near Stanton. Generally, only a small stretch of the Knife River is appropriate for canoeing. This stretch is from the Highway 31 bridge, northwest of the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, downstream to the Missouri River.
Canoeists may paddle through the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, which also contains 10 miles of hiking trails and an Interpretive Center. The site is rich in Native American history and is near the site of the 1804-05 winter headquarters of Lewis and Clark. Here, the Missouri River flows through remnants of a wide alluvial valley carved by the ancestral Knife River. Before the area's last glaciation period, the ancestral Knife River, which was much larger than the present-day Knife River, flowed from west to east across central North Dakota and then north to Canada. The Knife River Valley provided an ideal setting for winter encampment for Lewis and Clark and their Mandan and Hidatsa neighbors.
Knife River Resources
Below are images of scenery along the Knife River. Click on an image to view a larger version. Use your browser's back command to return to this page.
To read what Lewis and Clark said about the Knife River area, click HERE.