Indian Hills State Recreation Area and Resort is a super spot to enjoy Lake Sakakawea, outdoor activities, and 61 campsites furnished with full or partial hookups for rigs. Located 35 miles southwest of Garrison, North Dakota, the 80-acre state recreation area is situated along the north shoreline of Lake Sakakawea, which is the third-largest man-made lake in the United States. The lake was created in the late 1950s along the Missouri River and displaced the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. In 1969 there was a U.S. Air Force Interceptor Airplane that crashed into the 137-mile long lake. The airplane was finally located in the lake by a group of surveyors in 2004.
Indian Hills State Recreation Area and Resort was originally the homeland of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Indian Tribes. The tribes encountered fur trappers in the late 1790s and greeted the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery Expedition in 1803. Settlers began to enter the area causing conflicts with the tribes in the early 1820s. The Arikara War in the 1820s and a smallpox epidemic in 1837 devastated the Mandan tribe. The tribes entered into the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie and were placed on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.
Today, Indian Hills State Recreation Area and Resort is a haven for outdoor activities and family fun. You can partake in activities such as fishing, hiking, hunting, biking, and plenty of water sports. The two boat ramps are ideal for launching your watercraft into Lake Sakakawea. There is a campground that offers 61 campsites furnished with full or partial hookups for your rig.
The weather at Indian Hills State Recreation Area and Resort brings summertime temperatures in the mid-80s with up to four inches of rain per month. Wintertime offers temperatures in the mid-10s accompanied by up to seven inches of snow per month.
RVs can access Indian Hills State Recreation Area and Resort along 14th Street Northwest. Once inside the recreation area, you will travel along dirt roads, and you will find congestion near the boat ramp and dump station. The road continues through the recreation area, and you will need to navigate along Peace Pipe Lane, Elbowoods Road, and 14th Street Northwest to find your campsite. You will not need to navigate through the resort area, which is in the western portion of the recreation area. While traveling along the interconnecting campground roads, you will find congestion at several intersections of the campground loops. When driving within the recreation area beware of sharing the road with pedestrians, bicyclists, and children playing in the campground. Always adhere to all posted speed limits within the recreation area for safety.
The Indian Hills State Recreation Area Campground is situated on several loops connected by a couple of roads and contains 61 campsites that boast full or partial hookups for your rig. There are 28 full hookup campsites and 33 with electric and water hookups. The campground is within walking distance to Lake Sakakawea with most campsites offering privacy and some protection from the elements. Each campsite is furnished with a fire ring, picnic table, and grass or gravel parking pad which may require leveling. RVs are limited to 65 feet in length, and not all campsites can accommodate larger rigs. There is a dump station located in the campground. Please do not dump full holding tanks into sewer hookups at campsites. Other facilities within the campground include showers, flush toilets, water spigots, and a fish cleaning station. Generators may be used from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Pets must be restrained by a six-foot leash at all times. The campground is open from mid-May until mid-October and during various hunting seasons.
Fishing is a very popular thing to do in Indian Hills State Recreation Area and Resort. There is plenty of shoreline at Lake Sakakawea for you to find the perfect spot to catch a dream fish. If you like trolling, then tow your boat behind your rig because there is a stellar boat ramp, dock, and mooring area. When you dip your line you can expect exciting action for walleye, catfish, northern pike, small mouth bass, and salmon. Please check the North Dakota fishing regulations for bag and size limits.
Water sports are a top thing to do in Indian Hills State Recreation Area and Resort. There are opportunities to water ski, jet ski, pull an inner tube, and you can just cruise the third largest man-made lake in the United States. Lake Sakakawea boasts more than 300,000 acres of water surface to explore in a variety of ways. If you like kayaking then this is a great place to paddle around the 1,320 miles of shoreline. The boat ramp is perfect for launching your watercraft, and there are mooring facilities.
Bring your bike with you on your RV and peddle around Indian Hills State Recreation Area and Resort. The Nux Baa Ga Trail is six miles in length offering a 48-inch wide hard packed surface to enjoy with Lake Sakakawea in the background. The trail winds through the undulating grassland terrain and through several heavily wooded areas. Take a picnic with you and stop at one of the many places which give you a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area including the lake.
You should go hiking while you are visiting Indian Hills State Recreation Area and Resort in your camper. There are several trails which are ideal for families to enjoy walking through the prairie terrain that is packed with flowers in the spring time. The Lewis & Clark Lookout Trail is perfect for a great view of Lake Sakakawea and the interpretive signs along the way will keep you informed of the history and culture of the area. If you like hard hikes then try the six mile Nux Baa Ga Trail which combines several trails including the Coyote Loop and White Tail Run.
Hunters flock to Indian Hills State Recreation Area and Resort in the fall. The surrounding grasslands are loaded with plenty of game birds and Lake Sakakawea is an ideal place to hunt water fowl like migrating Canadian geese and several duck species such as mallard. Other hunting options include quail, wild turkey, and there are plenty of pheasants in the burnt orange landscape of the northern prairie in the fall. Please check North Dakota hunting regulations for seasons and bag limits of birds.
Although the campground is closed in the winter you can still enjoy plenty of activities at Indian Hills State Recreation Area and Resort. Once Lake Sakakawea freezes in December there are plenty of miles of frozen shoreline that is safe to snowmobile. The Nux Baa Ga Trail is ideal for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing but you will not find any groomed trails. Other winter sports include ice fishing and ice skating on the lake which is a popular past time for all in the winter. Always check the depth of the ice before venturing out over frozen water.