Benefits of the Byway

The Standing Rock National Native American Scenic Byway was established on September 22, 2005 as a part of the larger National Native American Scenic Byway System of the Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. The National Scenic Byway System is comprised of a total 126 distinct and diverse roads designated as scenic byways and All-American roads.

The Standing Rock Reservation is one of the most historic areas in the central United States and it has a distinctive and unique culture and history – that of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people and the story of the early Europeans whose descendents now live in this region.

A true contextual education experience is provided to Byway travelers where they can actually see where history was made e.g., the burial site of one of America’s most brilliant military strategists and leaders (Sitting Bull); view one of the most important animals of the Great Plains and understand why it was so sacred to the Lakota/Dakota people (buffalo); become familiar with the legends and cosmology of the Native Americans (Holy Hills of the Mandan Indians); and understand the influence of the fur traders (Jedediah Smith Monument and the Missouri River).


Byway Organization

Sitting Bull College, a non-profit organization, has taken the initial leadership in the development of the byway initiative and works in close collaboration with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and a number of stakeholders to enhance and develop the byway and tourism efforts on the Standing Rock Reservation.

Byway Vision

In the spirit of understanding Sitting Bull College will educate the public to promote, protect, and preserve the integrity of the culture of Standing Rock


Corridor Management Plan & Byway Advisory Committee

The Standing Rock Byway Corridor Management Plan was developed in 2004 by the Byway Advisory Committee, a group of volunteers from each Reservation community.

The dedicated committee members provide ongoing valuable services that include planning and organizing special events, corridor clean up and beautification, public relations, corridor management plan updates, managing projects, and other numerous volunteer activities.

The Corridor Management Plan identifies 12 sites for interpretation focusing on five thematic assets: Native American culture, the influences of Lewis & Clark, the Fur Trade, the Ecology of the High Plains, and the impact of the Missouri River. Each of the sites will enhance the traveler’s knowledge and understanding of the area.

Copies of the Standing Rock Corridor Management Plan are available upon request by contacting


News, Stories & Updates

The Standing Rock National Native American Scenic Byway is one of 276 projects in 41 States that have been selected to receive funding from the Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byways Program.
»Download 2008Awards.doc


The production of the byway website, brochures, maps, a 7 minute DVD video, highway indicator signs and interpretive panels are scheduled for completion by June 30, 2008. These projects have been made possible by donations from the Federal Highway Scenic Byway Program, Sitting Bull College, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Sioux County.


TIPI VILLAGE (April 2007)

The Standing Rock National Native American Scenic Byway has been selected as a recipient of a North Dakota Infrastructure and Expansion Grant for the amount of $20,000 to construct a Tipi Village for the Pageant of the Plains outdoor production.




The Byway has completed a feasibility study for an outdoor drama production the Pageant of the Plains. The feasibility study was funded by the Federal Highway Scenic Byways, Sitting Bull College, and Prairie Knights Casino. The concept of the Pageant is to bring the story of Sitting Bull to life by creating a living history setting and outdoor pageant that will enable visitors to actually experience and feel the impact of Sitting Bull on the lives of the Lakota/Dakota people. The primary goal of the pageant is to foster greater understanding and appreciation of the Lakota/Dakota culture. The secondary goal is to provide another income source for tribal members by participating in the drama (horsemanship, dancing and singing). Finally, an outdoor cultural marketplace will be incorporated into an outdoor amphitheater so that tribal members may offer traditional art for sale.


North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad announced on March 22, 2006, that the Standing Rock Lewis & Clark Legacy Trail has been approved to receive $120,000 from the North Dakota Legacy Trails Project. The three one-mile trails located along the bluffs of the Missouri River serve as an important part of the Standing Rock National Native American Scenic Byway. The project includes the construction of a permanent single track trail, additional botanical and interpretive signage, interpretive materials, visitor amenities, and ADA accessibility.


A stretch of highway that climbs up and down the Missouri River breaks, runs past buffalo herds and eagles nests, and sweeps motorists toward the history and culture of American Indians has been added to an exclusive list of the nation’s most beautiful and interesting places to travel.
»Download BywayPressRelease#2.doc



Byway Projects & Fundraising

Implementation of the Byway Corridor Management Plan is underway to some degree on all 12 of the envisioned interpretive sites. The Byway is currently seeking funding to complete the following projects:


Fort Yates Stockade
The last remaining building that remains intact from the military post “Fort Yates” established in 1870 can be seen today in the town of Fort Yates. Named for Captain George Yates who died at the Battle of the Little Big Horn the fort became the largest Missouri River post. Fundraising efforts have begun to restore, preserve, and promote the Stockade. For more information about the Stockade or to pledge a donation contact the Standing Rock Tourism Office at (701) 854-8500.


Pageant of the Plains
Perhaps the masterpiece of the Byway’s interpretive plan is the Pageant of the Plains. A 1,200 seat outdoor amphitheater is planned to host the outdoor drama production. The set will be designed to be used also as a cultural center and marketplace. The construction of the tipi village is being sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Commerce. Additional funding is needed for the construction of the amphitheater, writing of the script, composition of the music and choreography of the dances planned for the pageant. Costumes, props and administrative costs are also necessary to complete the project. Copies of the Pageant of the Plains feasibility study are available upon request by contacting


Visitor Center
The planning and construction of a Visitor Center/Rest Area has been prioritized by the Byway Advisory Committee. A location for the Visitor Center has been secured adjacent to the Byway by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The Visitor Center will provide year round visitor information, a rest area, and a picnic area.



Ways to Help

There are many ways that you can support our Byway efforts. Suggested ideas include:

Memorial & Endowment Gifts – honor your loved ones by purchasing a tree, seating bench, shelter, playground equipment or a special interest, in their name.

Volunteerism – share your talents by volunteering to help us build our photograph library, write grants, develop architectural designs, landscape, lead beautification projects, design and print marketing materials, etc.


How to Donate

If you are interested in supporting any of the above projects please contact us at:

Standing Rock National Native American Scenic Byway
Pamela Ternes, Director
9299 Highway 24
Fort Yates, ND 58538
(701) 854-8075