Sunflower field, Traill County, North Dakota
Wild stallion in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
Badlands, North Dakota
Against the backdrop of the conquest of the West, North Dakota makes it possible to relive several chapters of the construction of a country united in a single state. From the Coen brothers' film "Fargo" to the adventures of a trader's adventurer, the history of the United States of America has never been so eclectic.
Discover the region
A climatic detail that did not escape the Coen brothers who found one of their most beautiful films in Fargo, the main city of the State. However, Grand Forks is often considered more attractive. Located 120 km south of the Canadian border, this city was a popular stopover for fur company travelers. Since then, the North Dakota Museum of Art and the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences have been the main attractions, within 15 miles to the south, on the Spirit Lake Sioux Indian Reservation. Here remains the Fort Totten Military Post, one of the best preserved forts in the region where the Spirit Lake Oyate Wacipi Pow Wow and Rodeo folklore is held in July.
A western landscape found along the Missouri where livestock farming is still one of the dominant activities despite the regrettable intensive mining. There, the river unfolds its widened convolutions through dam lakes such as Lake Sakakawea, a real inland sea of more than 1000 feet long.
It was north of Mandan that Lewis and Clark spent their first winter with the "Mandans", a tribe that disappeared following epidemics imported by white settlers. It was there that they were going to meet Sacajawea, their Shoshone guide who would become as legendary as they were. Just south of the city, the replica of the mud lodges used by the Mandans at the On-A-Slant Village site in Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park gives a good temperature reading. In the 1875s, this fort was occupied by the 7th Cavalry of the famous and controversial Lieutenant-Colonel George Armstrong Custer, whose quarters can be visited before he embarked on the fateful campaign leading to the Little Big Horn disaster.
Bismarck, the state capital, has all the charms of a provincial city. Dominated by its unexpected 19-story art-deco capitol, known as the "Prairie Skyscraper", the city offers several points of interest: the superb North Dakota Heritage Center, Camp Hancock State Historic Site, the former governor's residence dating from 1893 and the small Railroad Museum on Mandan's side.
But it is above all to admire the ghostly Badlands, tapping the meadow of their tormented architecture protected by the two sections of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, that one comes to the West. Desert, mountain and forest are home to wildlife ranging from elk to prairie dogs. The region was marked by some exciting episodes of the Conquest of the West featuring Theodore Roosevelt, the future and revered 26th President of the United States of America, and the Marquis de Mores, a flamboyant adventurer from Cannes who came to make his fortune in livestock and gave his wife's name to the amusing neighboring western village, Medora.