Lewis and Clark State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Lewis and Clark State Park, situated on one of the upper bays of Lake Sakakawea, offers guests views of the rugged buttes of the North Dakota Badlands. This terrain is a towering backdrop to one of the state's best recreation areas. The park is named for the Corps of Discovery explorers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. The expedition camped near this park on April 17, 1805, and an interpretive trail marker has been placed within the park to commemorate their historic journey through North Dakota. Guests will find that Lake Sakakawea offers excellent fishing (Walleye, Sauger, and Northern Pike) and boating opportunities. Lewis and Clark State Park also maintains a swimming beach with washed sand so guests can relax and enjoy a swim in the stunning surroundings. Lucky guests may catch a view of one or both of the rare fish that reside here. The pallid sturgeon and the prehistoric-looking paddlefish can occasionally be found in the lake's western reaches.

Lewis and Clark State Park offers miles of shoreline with picturesque views of towering buttes and rolling hills. Modern boating facilities, including a marina with slip rentals and boat ramps, are major attractions. Anglers will find excellent fishing for walleye, sauger and northern pike within the park.

Lewis and Clark State Park is home to the largest native mixed-grass prairie of any North Dakota State Park. Guests are invited to acquaint themselves with the natural communities associated with the park by hiking a self-guided nature trail.

RV Rentals in Lewis and Clark State Park

Transportation in Lewis and Clark State Park

Driving

The park's address is:

Lewis & Clark State Park
4904 119th Road NW
Epping, ND 58843

19 miles southeast on Highway 1804, Epping, ND. Guests will take 119th road south from Highway 1804. Once on this road, guests will be driving along a sparsely populated road. Guests will notice the lake as they approach. If you miss the first turn into the park, you can continue and there is a second turn that will get you into the park.

Parking

Guest to the park will find a great deal of parking options. There is parking available near the horseshoe pits, near the marina, at the picnic shelter, near the Lewis and Clark Interpretative kiosk, at several points along the multi-use trails, and at the fishing area.

Public Transport

There is no public transportation available within the park.

Campgrounds and parking in Lewis and Clark State Park

Campsites in Lewis and Clark State Park

Reservations camping

Lewis and Clark State Park

Stunning Lewis and Clark State Park located along Lake Sakakawea in the badlands of North Dakota maintains a campground offering:

41 Modern Plus Campsites with electricity, sewer & water hookups.

47 Modern Campsites with electricity & water hookups.

2 Group Plus Campsites with electricity, sewer, and water hookups. These campsites also provide guests the ability to put multiple units on one site.

3 Group Campsites with electricity, water hookups and the ability to put multiple units on one site.

8 Primitive Campsites

The park offers camp sites that can accommodate RV’s in up to 40 feet. There is some availability for RV’s in excess to this length. However, guests are advised to contact the campground for these accommodation.

The campground at Lewis and Clark State Park is divided into four distinct loops. These are Bluebird Loop, Meadowlark Loop, Pintail Loop, and Plover Loop. A campground map is available online for further details. Guests may reserve camp sites online as well.

Accommodations at the campground include, a swimming beach, and amphitheater, picnic shelters, a playground, a comfort station, a vaulted toilet, a dump station, and two trails. Pets are welcome, but guests should be mindful that pets aren't allowed in swimming areas.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Lewis and Clark State Park

In-Season

Hiking

Guests to Lewis and Clark State Park will note that the park is a unique mix of non-native grasslands, and native mixed grass prairie communities intermixed with wooded ravines and badland communities. The park’s trails provide excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing in this varied space.

Trails that guests can choose from within the park include

Prairie Nature Trail:

This .41-mile self-guided trail includes interpretive stations and is easily accessed from the trail head near the park office and concession store. This trail traverses an old prairie track and old muddy ruts from ancient wagon wheels remain visible today. The interpretive trail leads guests through native prairie and wooded ravines. The trail invites guests to become acquainted with communities native to the park. Guests will find that the park is home to many wildlife species including white-tailed deer, mule deer, ring-necked pheasant, porcupine, sharp-tailed grouse and chipmunks.

North Trail System:

This multi-use trail is approximately two and a half miles in length. It extends from the trail head near the park office and concession store, north along the boundary of the park. This trail returns parallel to Lake Sakakawea and ends at the modern campground access road. The trail guides guests through a portion of the Prairie Nature Trail and continues north through native prairie intermixed with traces of woody draw communities. Guests will discover a wonderful vista of the badlands. Guests will also discover an overlook of a beaver pond and a beautiful walking bridge. Guests will find many benches upon which to relax and drink in the nature of the park. Guests may feel surprise when they first hear the catlike "meow" of the gray catbird's call.

South Trail System:

This three-mile multi-looped multi-use trail combines Lewis and Clark interpretation with some wonderful native prairie images, views of majestic badlands, and views of stunning Lake Sakakawea. Guests will find open areas and native prairie hilltops providing good butterfly watching opportunities along this trail. Guests may catch a glimpse of common banded or Pawnee skippers as they flutter through the blazing stars. Guests will also revel in birding opportunities available to them along this trail.

Shoreline Trail

This three-mile multi-use trail is the longest trail in the park. It runs along the shore of Lake Sakakawea. Guests will find access to the trailhead near the group campground. The trail leads guests through the eastern edge of the park providing stunning views of the lake. Guests will often seed birds of prey such as Prairie Falcon and Swainson Hawks soaring above their heads as they hiking this lovely trail.

Geocaching

Guests to Lewis and Clark State Park with an interest in geocaching will find one cache within the park itself and several nearby. For guests who don’t know, geocaching is an excellent activity for any age or skill level. It is akin to modern day treasure hunting. Participants use a GPS or an app on their phone to find containers called geocaches, or caches, utilizing specific coordinates. Geocache coordinates can be found online or through the Geocaching app. Whether the cache container is as common as an ammo can or disguised as an ordinary rock, you are sure to be enjoy the adventure. Geocachers sign and date a log within the cache and are invited to take one of the trinkets located inside. Guests should replace the trinket with one of their own. Many geocachers enjoy leaving trinkets with a theme of trinkets that identify their home town. Guests should be mindful to replace the cache where they found it for the next geocacher to find.

Fishing

Guests to Lewis and Clark State Park with an interest in fishing will be greatly impressed as Lake Sakakawea offers excellent fishing (walleye, sauger and northern pike. Guests will also note that the park offers boating opportunities. Guests will find that easy access to the water and light fishing pressure make the park a great jumping-off point.

The park maintains a marina with two piers available; Pier 1 slips are 20 feet to 28 feet. Pier 2 slips are 46 feet and 50 feet. The Marina offers fuel (unleaded) and a septic pump out service on the water. Navigable water levels are 1830MSL and above. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent during the summer season. Dry storage is available for both summer and winter seasons.

Off-Season

River Bend Overlook

Guests to Lewis and Clark State Park with an interest in the natural beauty of North Dakota will find the River Bend Overlook in Watford City, ND well worth their while. The River Bend Overlook offers guests a stunning view of the Little Missouri River and its flood plain. The overlook is located in the stunning North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park along the 14 mile scenic drive about eight miles from the visitor center.

Take a short walk from the pullout. Here you'll see a stone shelter that was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. From here, there's an expansive view of the gentle bend of the Little Missouri as it carves a canyon through the North Dakota Badlands. Visitors to this overlook will note the contrast between the distinctive green tones of the vegetation in the North Dakota Badlands and the red buffs of the much more barren South Dakota Badlands.

Fort Union Trading Post

Guest to Lewis and Clark State Park with an interest in the history of the area may wish to visit the Fort Union Trading Post. Located in Williston, ND, Fort Union Trading Post is the grandest Fort on the Upper Missouri River. Fort Union was the most important fur trade post on the Upper Missouri River between the years of 1828 and 1867. It was here that Northern Plains Indian Tribes exchanged buffalo robes and smaller furs for goods from around the world. Native American’s traded their furs for cloth, guns, blankets, and beads. The trading post acted as a bastion of peaceful coexistence and traded over 25,000 buffalo robes and $100,000 in merchandise on a yearly basis.

Lewis and Clark Trail Museum:

Guests to the Lewis and Clark State Park will find a wealth of history in the Lewis and Clark Trail Museum. It's a great place to learn about the history of the region and the families that lived here. Plus, you can enjoy a latte at the coffee shop.

This gem makes it clear that the citizens of Alexander are proud of their heritage and happy to share.

The museum resides in the old school. Guests will quickly discover that each room has a theme and is chock full of authentic artifacts. The museum provides guests the opportunity to see a pioneer store, an old time beauty parlor, a milliner, and a school room. The external structures include a log cabin. A self-guided tour is free to the public, but donations are encouraged.

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