Fort Mandan was the name of the encampment which the Lewis and Clark Expedition built for wintering over in 1804-1805. The encampment was located on the Missouri River approximately twelve miles from the site of present-day Washburn, North Dakota, which developed later. The precise location is not known for certain and is believed now to be under water of the river. A replica of the fort has been constructed near the original site.Construction and conditionsThe fort was built of cottonwood lumber cut from the riverbanks. It was triangular in shape, with high walls on all sides, an interior open space between structures, and a gate facing the Missouri River, by which the party would normally travel. Storage rooms provided a safe place to keep supplies. Lewis and Clark shared a room. The men of the Corps of Discovery started the fort on November 2, 1804. They wintered there until April 7, 1805. According to the journals, they built the fort slightly downriver from the five villages of the Mandan and Hidatsa nations.The winter was very cold, with temperatures sometimes dipping to minus 45 degrees Fahrenheit (-43°C), but the fort provided some protection from the elements. Several of the men of the expedition suffered frostbite due to the severely cold conditions, which affected them even with brief exposure.Using our custom trip planner, Washburn attractions like Fort Mandan can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Fort Mandan Reviews
If you're a history buff, interested in the Lewis & Clark Journey or just enjoy a spectacular museum/visitors center you really want to stop here. After spending some time in the L&C Interpretive Cent... more »
we stopped to get a picture of my dogs with the large newfoundland statue of the dog that went on the expedition with lewis and clark. ended up doing the tour of the reconstruction of ft mandan which ... more »
We had heard about the Lewis and Clark museum but was surprised the fort was included. We learned about Seaman the dog. It was worth the stop more »
Fun place and thing to do. Learning about Lewis and Clark Expedition. Learning about the Fort Mandan next to the Missouri River. Beautiful views and fun interpretive trails to walk.
The guided tour of the fort replica was interesting. The tour guide was very informative and good at answering everyone's questions. We were delighted to discover a well kept play / picnic area after the tour.
My husband and I had the most wonderful experience at this Fort. The Ranger, Juan, was so knowledgeable and really created a picture of how The people lived and how they were able to create the things they needed. He really knew his history and he was so good at sharing his knowledge.. we are following the Lewis and Clark Trail starting in St. Louis and we will be following it to the coast. This visit to the Fort has really brought all the people involved to life for both me and my husband Pete.
Great place to be with beautiful restored fort manda. Lewis and clarke history.
You get to see the fort as part of the Lewis and Clark. We found it interesting
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