Cross Ranch State Park is situated along the seven miles of the last few sweeps of untouched riverbanks on the western side of the Missouri River. The park, which is made up of 589 acres of rolling grasslands, woody draws, and river bottom forests, is the perfect venue for both summer and winter time activities. However, when you make your plans, please keep in mind that summer temperatures can escalate into the 80s during the day yet fall into the 50s during the night. Winters, on the other hand, can range from a high of 10° during the day to a low of -10° during the night.
To reach the state park, take Exit 147 (also known as Highway 25) from I-94. Then drive north for approximately 18 miles, followed by another five miles north on Hensler Road. Subsequently you’ll need to turn east on Sanger Road and go five more miles. Finally, drive two more miles north on River Road.
Cross Ranch was deliberately left undeveloped to preserve the natural beauty of the land. In fact, the park is one of the five state parks in North Dakota that has been officially named a Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Site. In addition, they have the River Peoples Visitor Center, where visitors can learn about the rich natural and cultural history that surrounds the Missouri River.
There are a total of 70 campsites on the campgrounds of Cross Ranch and another seven campsites fully equipped with water and electricity for RV camping. They also have showers and flush toilets, but, if you are adventurous in the morning, you can also use pit toilets. In addition, there is a camp sewage dumping station.
Have kids? They can play in the park playground and picnic shelter. There are also neighboring bowling alleys and a supermarket for emergency grocery shopping.
You will never run out of activities at Cross Ranch. For example, boating on the Missouri River is popular among visitors. In addition, camping is also on the top of the list since campers can choose between the main campsites (where electrical hookups are provided) and the backcountry area, which is perfect for the more outdoorsy types. Hikers also have a lot to explore along the 16 miles of hiking trails, including the preserved village sites that still have 12th century Mandan rectilinear lodges and even the earlier earthen lodges discovered by Lewis and Clark in 1804. 10 miles of these trails can also be explored during the winter through cross country skiing. Cross ranch is also perfect for group and family picnics.
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Directions: 12 miles southeast of Hensler
|Park Name:||Cross Ranch State Park||Showers:||Yes|
|State Park:||Yes||Electrical Hookups:||Yes|
|Address:||1403 River Road, Center, ND||Playground:||Yes|
|State:||North Dakota||Horses Allowed:||No|
|Phone Number:||(701) 794-3731||Boating:||Yes|
|Toll Free Number:||Canoeing:||Yes|
|Reservation Number:||(701) 794-3731||Water Skiing:||No|
|Biking:||No||Others:||Nearby bowling alleys and supermarket|
|Cabins & Lodging:||No||Tent Camping:||Yes|
Daily entrances are pegged at $5 per vehicle, although local and more frequent goers can get a discount of $25 per year. Camping fees range from $10 to $12 per person per night, depending on whether you choose the main campsite or the backcountry.
Hours and Seasons:
Cross Ranch State Park is open year-round, although the River Peoples Visitor Center hours vary by season.