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Fort Mandan, Washburn

(4.5/5 based on 60+ reviews on the web)
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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is part of the excellent museum up the road so go to the museum first to pay. This tour, about 30 minutes, was very informative and well worth the time. Allow at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours for all of...  more »
  • We had an excellent tour of Fort Mandan, a reconstruction of the Indian village where Lewis and Clark wintered on their way west. The guides do a really good job of bringing this history alive. 
  • We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and tour of the reproduction Fort. While you wait for your tour you can enjoy the exhibition in the small centre. They are obviously used to school visits as there were...  more »
Google
  • Nice information. Guide was very knowledgeable. A must stop for lewis and clark
  • The fort is just a replica, and to get to the actual fort is a 7mile hike. We didn't have time to do the hike but we really wanted to see it
  • Nice history and re-creation of the Fort. Our guide wasn't the greatest, but our kids enjoyed it.
  • I've never been but I used google to find where this is. So this is a shoutout to google. THANK YOU GOOGLE!
  • coll