Photographs courtesy of North Dakota Tourism & USGS
Lake Sakakawea was created to stem the flooding on the Missouri River and to provide a local energy source. The Garrison Dam was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1940s and early 1950s and was finished in 1953.
The lake is named after the female Shoshone guide Sakakawea (sometimes called Sacagawea) who led the Lewis & Clark expedition north on the Missouri River during their journeys through this area at the start of the 19th century.
The area around the dam was originally called Garrison Lake State Park until it was handed over to the state parks department in the 1960s and renamed the Lake Sakakawea State Park.
Two other parks on the lake are nearby - the Fort Stevenson State Park on the northern shore opposite the dam, and the Little Missouri State Park to the west.
Lake Sakakawea is the third largest man-made reservoir in the USA.
Lake Sakakawea State Park
Lake Sakakawea State Park is located on the south shore of the lake near the towns of Pick City and Riverdale. It can be reached from Bismarck and Mandan via Highways 31 and 200 in the direction of Stanton and Hazen, a journey of around 50 miles.
The park facilities include a marina, a campground and two cabins.
Sakakawea State Park
Riverdale, ND 58565
Fort Stevenson State Park
Fort Stevenson State Park is located on the north shore of the lake just south of the town of Garrison. It can be reached from Minot via Highways 83 and 1804, a journey of around 50 miles. It is named after an old military fort, the site of which is now under water.
The park facilities include a marina, a campground and cabins.
1252A 41st Ave. NW
Garrison, ND 58540
Little Missouri State Park
The Little Missouri State Park is described as a "Primitive Horse Park" and is located around 20 miles north of the town of Killdeer. the most accessible major town is Dickinson, which is around 35 miles to the south on Highway 22.
The park is popular for hiking and horseback riding. There are two campgrounds near the entrances to the park.
Missouri State Park
1403 River Road
Center, ND 58530