3,280 Miles from Gold Beach, Oregon: Watford City, ND

Lake Oahe at Beaver Creek Recreation Area

Our travels to North Dakota have been spectacular! We traveled from Lusk, WY to Gettysburg, SD and stayed on the Missouri River / Lake Oahe at the West Whitlock Recreation Area for one night. This was a very nice campground operated by the state of South Dakota. When/if we travel this way again, we will definitely stay at this park longer.

The following day, we traveled to the Beaver Creek Recreation Area near Linton ND – also on the Missouri River (Lake Oahe) for a week. This is a campground operated by the US Army Corp of Engineers. Our space was literally on the bank overlooking the boat ramp and the river/lake.

We next traveled to a private campground outside of Bismarck on our way to Downstream Campground outside of Hazen ND. This was an exceptional campground and area – also operated by the US Army Corp of Engineers. The people were friendly, the spaces were huge, and the area was beautiful! This has been one of our favorite campgrounds to date.

Downstream Campground – beauty and history

Our next, and current stop, is north of Watford City ND at Tobacco Gardens Resort – a privately owned park near a North Dakota State Park – also on the Missouri River / Lake Sakakawea. Are you detecting a theme here?

The Missouri River is the longest river in the United States and has a series of dams creating lakes as it traverses south to Saint Louis MO where it joins the Mississippi River.  Fifteen dams impound the main stem of the river, with hundreds more on tributaries. At many of these dams, there are an abundance of campgrounds operated on public lands. We’ve been very appreciative of these recreation areas and how they share their regions with agriculture

We have found North Dakota to be a beautiful place with many, many recreation areas and an abundance of smaller lakes. The people have been wonderful – we’ve even been invited to stay at Rolling Hills Resort on Smith Lake near Garrison MN should we ever travel that way. It is interesting to see recreation areas and agricultural regions complement each other so well.

You might think that we have been able to avoid the smoke being so far inland and north, however, we’ve been blessed with smoky skies from the Canadian fires.

Our ND experience has been wonderful. We’ve experienced weather ranging from Gold Beach style (rain and temperatures in the low 60’s) to temperatures exceeding 100 degrees – when we stay closed up in our RV with the curtains closed and the A/C’s maxed out. It’s been wonderful!

Sun setting through the smoke over Lake Sakakawea near Watford City, ND