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A Photographic Journey up the Missouri River in North Dakota - Garrison Dam and Lake Sakakawea

 Photographs of the Missouri River at Garrison Dam and Lake Sakakawea





These photos provide a visual journey up the Missouri River in North Dakota. The pictures are arranged in approximate upstream order and dates and locations are given when known.  These photographs may give you a glimpse of the sites Lewis & Clark saw and also serve to illustrate the history and development of the Missouri River.

To view a larger version of an image, click the image.  Use the web browser’s back command to return to this page.


Missouri River bank

West bank of Missouri River below tailrace at Garrison Dam

June 20, 2000

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey


Garrison Dam

Aerial photograph of Garrison Dam

May 18, 1995

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey


Garrison Dam

Garrison Dam

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey


Garrison Dam front door

Garrison Dam front door

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey


Lake Sakakawea

Lake Sakakawea

Credit: North Dakota Tourism Department


Satellite Image of Lake Sakakawea

Garrison Dam and Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota, U.S.A. August 1989

Lake Sakakawea, with more than 1600 miles (2576 kilometers) of shoreline, is featured in this low-oblique photograph. The lake extends westward almost 200 miles (322 kilometers) to near Williston, North Dakota (not in photograph). A portion of the lake, including the Van Hook Arm, lies within the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The part of the Missouri River that forms Lake Sakakawea marks the approximate boundary of glaciers that covered North Dakota—to the east and north glacial deposits blanket the land, and to the west and south lie bedrock and the Bad Lands through which travels the Little Missouri River before entering Lake Sakakawea. Garrison Dam (right center) is one of the largest rolled-earth dams in the world. To its east appear Audubon Lake and the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge.

Credit: NASA’s Earth From Space web site http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov


Sunset on Lake Sakakawea
Sunset on Lake Sakakawea
Sunset on Lake Sakakawea
Sunset on Lake Sakakawea

Sunset on Lake Sakakawea

Credit: North Dakota Tourism Department


Geese on Lake Sakakawea

Geese on Lake Sakakawea

Credit: North Dakota Tourism Department


Lake Sakakawea
Lake Sakakawea

Lake Sakakawea

Credit: North Dakota Tourism Department


Recreation on Lake Sakakawea
Recreation on Lake Sakakawea

Lake Sakakawea provides many recreational opportunities for North Dakota residents and tourists.

Credit: North Dakota Tourism Department


Elbowoods and Four Bears Bridge 

The area shown in the five pictures below is now under the waters of Lake Sakakawea.  The bridge, Four Bears Bridge, was moved upstream and remains important to the people of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.


August 1940 Missouri River at Elbowoods

Missouri River near Elbowoods, North Dakota, looking downstream from Four Bears Bridge

August 16, 1940

Credit Line: U.S. Geological Survey


Missouri River near Elbowoods

Missouri River near Elbowoods, North Dakota, looking upstream from left bank

May 28, 1952

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey


Four Bears Bridge over the Missouri River near Elbowoods

Four Bears Bridge over the Missouri River near Elbowoods, North Dakota

August 16, 1940

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey


Missouri River near Elbowoods

Missouri River near Elbowoods, North Dakota

April 10, 1942

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey


Missouri River near Elbowoods

Missouri River near Elbowoods, North Dakota, looking upstream from Four Bears Bridge

August 16, 1940

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey


Independence ferry

Ferry across the Missouri River from Independence, North Dakota (Independence was located between Shell Creek and the Little Missouri River prior to the completion of Garrison Dam.  The town site is now under the waters of Lake Sakakawea.)

1952

Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fort Berthold Indian Agency

Credit: National Archives and Records Administration


Van Hook Arm

Van Hook Arm of Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota, U.S.A. Winter 1995-1996

The Van Hook Arm of Lake Sakakawea, within the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, is featured in this low-oblique photograph. The Missouri River waters impounded by Garrison Dam, completed in 1956, (not in photograph) formed Lake Sakakawea in western North Dakota. As part of the Missouri River Basin project, Lake Sakakawea and Garrison Dam provide hydroelectric power, flood control, and irrigation for agriculture. The lake has approximately 1600 miles (2576 kilometers) of shoreline for boating, camping, and other recreational activities. Sediment is visible in the lake, and scattered agricultural field patterns extend outward from its shores.

Credit: NASA’s Earth From Space web site http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov


Satellite Image of Lake Sakakawea

Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota, U.S.A. April 1994

Featured in this low-oblique photograph is light blue, partially ice-covered Lake Sakakawea, the largest lake in North Dakota. Extending from Garrison Dam (not visible) to near Williston (not visible), Lake Sakakawea is approximately 200 miles (322 kilometers) long, has approximately 1600 miles (2576 kilometers) of shoreline, and provides recreation and irrigation for agriculture. Van Hook Arm is located within the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. During the ice age, the Missouri River was the boundary between glaciation to the north and east and ice-free topography to the south and west. Visible are the Little Missouri River within the Bad Lands and the southwest portion of the Turtle Mountains.

Credit: NASA’s Earth From Space web site http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov


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