ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS FROM BISMARCK YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS
As North Dakota’s capital city, Bismarck has plenty to offer. Our location along the Missouri River makes for some interesting outdoor recreation as well as some beautiful scenery. Our capital building is the tallest in the state, and we also have a plethora of shopping and dining opportunities in our downtown area. But just because there is so much to see and do here does not mean you can’t enjoy an exciting road trip now and again. When you are planning your next road trip, you’ll want to add these fun destinations to your bucket list.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Located in parts of Billings and McKenzie Counties, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park encompasses more than 70,440 acres in the western part of the state. This is one of the newer national parks, having only been established in 1978.
When it comes to road trips, this national park is a destination within a destination. Its Scenic Loop Drive provides breathtaking views of the park’s amazing scenery. Along the way, you will likely encounter tons of wildlife such as bison, elk, and even some wild horses.
There is plenty to do here aside from just a scenic drive. For example, you can enjoy hiking, bird watching, camping, and horseback riding. Or visit Teddy Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch, where his Maltese Cross Cabin is still standing. The south entrance of the park is in Medora, which will take you around
two hours to reach via Interstate 94 West.
Frontier Village, Jamestown
Drive east around 90 minutes or so, and you will come to Jamestown and its world-famous Frontier Village. This is a carefully-reconstructed village that was developed by bringing original buildings from North Dakota’s frontier to the location. When visiting Jamestown, you’ll feel as though you are walking through a late 19th-Century frontier town, and can even shop in many of the stores.
Just walking the streets of Jamestown is exciting enough. However, you can also take in a few other attractions while you are here. One is the writer’s shack dedicated to famous western author Louis L’Amour, who was born in Jamestown in 1908. The town’s first railroad depot is located here and was functioning up to 1965. Drop by the National Buffalo Museum to see a herd of live buffalo and take a look at some Native American artifacts.
When you are tired of walking, grab a pony or stagecoach ride so that you can see the attractions at a more leisurely pace. There’s no admission price, but you will incur a $5 charge per person for the stagecoach or pony rides.
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
Situated just across the river from Bismarck is the city of Mandan. Drive seven miles south of Mandan, and you will come to the Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. This is North Dakota’s oldest state park and is the location where George Armstrong Custer and his wife lived from 1873 until his death at Little Big Horn in 1876. Although Custer’s original home burned in 1874, it has since been rebuilt along with several other buildings such as military barracks.
Here at the park, you will also find the reconstructed On-a-Slant Indian Village. The village was originally where approximately 1,500 Mandan Indians lived in their homes known as earth lodges. A smallpox epidemic nearly wiped out the tribe, whose survivors eventually relocated. Today, there are six reconstructed earth lodges as well as a council lodge.
Some 125 miles north of Bismarck is Rice Lake. This lake sits in Ward County and covers approximately 220 acres. It’s known for some great fishing, with many anglers catching loads of Yellow Perch, Northern Pike, and Walleye. If you’re not into fishing, you can still enjoy some canoeing, kayaking, or beach swimming.
Bring a picnic lunch and plan to spend the entire day at Rice Lake. The day-use area has bonfire pits, BBQ grills, restrooms, horseshoe pits, and a volleyball court. If you’d rather stay longer, pitch a tent on one of the primitive campsites and fall asleep to the sound of crickets and bullfrogs chirping on the water.
Miles City, MT
The historic town of Miles City, MT is around a four-hour drive from Bismarck. While that is close enough for a day trip, it’s also a destination you may want to consider for a mini-vacation. Miles City has plenty of attractions such as the Range Rider’s Museum, Waterworks Art Museum, and Pirogue Island State Park. It’s also home to several events like its annual Bucking Horse Sale and the Eastern Montana Fair.
Miles City is a great place to take in some hiking or just enjoy the scenery. One point of interest is Signal Butte, which sits at 3,051 feet above sea level. As the area’s highest point, it is thought to have been used by Native Americans for communications. Near Signal Butte are some unique sandstone formations, as well as some cedar and sagebrush forests.
Helping you Get in and Around North Dakota
To enjoy these and other road trips, you’ll first need to find the right vehicle. If you haven’t already stopped by our dealership, what are you waiting for? Drop-in, have a look at our selection and let us help you pick out the perfect ride. We want to ensure you are ready for your next adventure and look forward to serving you soon.