Cross Ranch State Park

Cross Ranch State Park is located along some of the last free-flowing and undeveloped stretches of the Missouri River.  While exploring Cross Ranch State Park, visitors may find themselves traveling back in time, catching a glimpse of the landscape as it appeared to Native Americans inhabiting the area hundreds of years ago, or hearing the echoes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition making its way to the Pacific coast along the Missouri River.

Cross Ranch has over 13 miles of trails that cater to the adventurer all year long. This extensive trail system can be explored either on foot or cross-country skis during the winter months. The trail system allows access to a 5,000-acre nature preserve with mixed prairie grass, river bottom forests, woody draws and roaming bison.

Cabins, yurts and a tipi are all available for overnight lodging along with two different campgrounds. A boat ramp is available for those wishing to explore this scenic segment of the river. Anglers will find walleye, trout, catfish, salmon, pike, and bass in its waters. 

York_cabin_1.jpgYork Cabin
Price: $125 per night
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Nestled between the historic cottonwoods of Cross Ranch State Park, is the newly constructed full-service York Cabin. With a full kitchen and bathroom, this cozy home away from home is the perfect year-round getaway. The cabin sleeps six with a bedroom, queen bed in the loft and a pullout couch.  This cabin offers breath-taking views of the Missouri River and access to miles of beautiful trails. On the weekends (Friday & Saturday) and holidays, a two-night minimum stay is required for the York Cabin.


Pretty Point_1.jpgPretty Point Yurt
Price: $125 per night
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Located along the Missouri River, the Pretty Point Yurt offers spectacular views of the Missouri River. This full-service yurt is available year-round and includes a full kitchen and bathroom. Pretty point sleeps six with two bedrooms, loft space, and a pullout couch. On the weekends (Friday & Saturday) and holidays, a two-night minimum stay is required for the Pretty Point Yurt.


Art Link.jpgArt Link cabin
Price: $80 per night
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Find seclusion while tucked away at the Art Link Log Cabin. This spacious cabin is available for year-round meetings and overnight rentals. The cabin includes one bedroom with two sets of bunk beds, pull out couch and a loft space that accommodates up to six (loft does not include beds). The cabin is near vault toilets and water. Shower facilities are available year-round at the Visitor Center.


Colter Cabin.jpgJohn Colter Cabin
Price: $80 per night
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This cabin sits among the old growth cottonwood forest and includes two bedrooms with electric heat, loft space (loft does not include beds), overhead lights, and a woodburning parlor stove. The cabin can sleep up to five and is located near vault toilets and water. Shower facilities are available year-round at the Visitor Center.




Levis Yurt
Price: $65 per night
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The Levis Yurt is situated nearest the northern trail system at Cross Ranch State Park. This simple yurt sleeps three with a bunk bed. A kitchen table, small refrigerator, and gas fireplace are also located inside the yurt. A vault toilet is located nearby, and shower facilities are available year-round at the visitor center.



Bagnel.jpgBagnell and Ice Glider Yurts
Price: $65 per night
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The Bagnel and Ice Glider Yurts are twin yurts located within the main campground at Cross Ranch. These yurts are just steps from the Matah Trail. These yurts sleep five and have a bunk bed and a pullout futon.  A gas fireplace, kitchen table, and a small refrigerator are located inside the yurts. A vault toilet is located nearby, and shower facilities are available year-round at the visitor center.



Sacagawea Tipi
Price: $35 per night
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The Sacagawea tipi at Cross Ranch State Park is sure to bring you closer to nature. This 18' Cheyenne tipi is sure to provide lasting memories as you camp along the banks of the Missouri River. You are greeted by a spectacular view of the Mighty Missouri as you walk out the front door of this tipi. There is a short hike to the tipi, on level ground, from the parking area. There are 4 cots provided in the tipi as well as a fire ring and picnic table at the campsite.

Overnight Rental Information

- Guests are expected to do general cleaning before vacating, including sweeping, wiping down surfaces and collecting and bagging trash.

- On the weekends (Friday & Saturday) and holidays, a two-night minimum stay is required for all full-service cabins and yurts. 

- Full-service cabins check-in is after 4 pm, check-out is at noon. 

- Smoking is not allowed in any cabins, yurts or tipis. 

- Game or fish cleaning in or around cabins, yurts or tipis is not allowed, please contact park staff for other arrangements. 

- Pets are not allowed in cabins, yurts or tipis.

- Bedding and towels are not provided. 

- The full list of park fees can be found in the 2019 Fee's & Facilities Brochure

- The cancellation policy and reservation information can be found here.

Campsite Types

36 Modern Campsites
Price: $25 per night

6 Group Modern Campsites
(electricity and the ability to put multiple units on one site)
Price: $25 per night, per unit

*Detailed information about each campsite is available on the reservation system. 

Campground Maps

Full Park Map



21 Primitive Campsites
Price: $17 per night

2 Group Primitive Campsites
(ability to put multiple units on one site)
Price: $17 per night, per unit

Camping Information

- Campsites and seasonal lodging can be booked 95 days in advance from the date you wish to stay.

- Reservations can be made online or by calling the call center (800-807-4723). 

- The full list of park fees can be found in the 2019 Fee's & Facilities Brochure

- Check-in is at 4:00 pm on the first day of the reservation and checkout is at 3:00 pm on the last day of the reservation.

- Pets are welcome but must stay on a leash. Most parks have off-leash areas or dog parks for your four-legged friends.

- The cancellation policy and reservation information can be found here.

Day-use Facilities

River Peoples Visitor Center Meeting Room

This meeting room can accommodate up to 50 people and is handicap accessible. It is available year round and can be booked by calling the park at (701) 794-3731.

Meeting Room. . . . . . .  $75/half day or $100/full day

Picnic Shelters

A large and small picnic shelter is available in the main park and has electricity. There is also a small shelter with no electricity at the Sanger Campground. Picnic shelters can be booked by calling the park at (701) 794-3731.

Small Shelter (cap. 48). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25/day
Large Shelter (cap. 120). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $75/day

Rental Equipment

If renting equipment for a larger group, contact the park ahead of time to ensure equipment is available.


Canoe Rentals

Canoe rentals are available for $8/hour or $50/day. Paddles and life vests are
included in rental fee. Four canoes are currently available for rent. 

Cross Country Skis

Cross-country ski rentals are available for $15/day. The park has 24 pairs of skis available for rent. Adult boot sizes only, please call the park for specific information on sizing and availability. 

Kayak Rentals

Kayak rentals are available for $8/hour or $50/day. Paddles and life vests are
included in rental fee. The park has 2 single and 2 double kayaks available for rent. 


Snowshoe rentals are available for $15/day. The park has 12 pairs of snowshoes available for rent. Children and adult sizes available. 

Kayak & Canoe Transport

Cross Ranch provides two different run options down the Missouri River. A 9-mile trip from the city of Washburn to the Sanger boat landing or a 2-mile trip from the main campground to the Sanger boat ramp.  The amount of time the runs take depends on how fast the user paddles and the speed of the river. The park charges a transportation fee of $30 with an additional $15 if another vehicle is required for transportation. Please call the park at (701) 794-3731 to make arrangements. 

Additional Park Amenities
  • Adirondack shelter
  • Band shelter
  • Boat ramp
  • Dump station
  • Meeting room 
  • Showers & flush toilets
  • Picnic shelters
  • Visitor center  

Cross Ranch Trail Picture.jpg

Situated along the west bank of the Missouri River, the 589-acre Cross Ranch State Park and adjacent 6,000-acre Cross Ranch Nature Preserve are one of the few areas in North Dakota to offer a true primitive outdoor experience. Over 16 miles of trail wind through Cross Ranch State Park and Nature Preserve. Trail posts identify the trail names.

Matah "River" Trail

Distance: 2.9 miles
Open to: hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing

This trail begins at the Visitor Center and loops around the park's main use areas. Along the river, interpretive signs describe the history, wildlife and geology of the area. The Matah Trail Self Guided Loop is the innermost loop covering 1.4 miles and takes up to an hour and a half to hike. Self-guided brochures are available at the trailhead or Visitor Center.

Ma-ak-oti "Old Villiage" Trail 

Distance: 2.5 miles
Open to: hiking, snowshoeing

This trail is divided into two sections. The 2.5 mile Upper Ma-ak-oti Trail starts from the Matah/Ma-ak-oti trail junction and continues to a creek flowing through a wooded ravine. The 1.7-mile Lower Ma-ak-oti Trail begins at the Sanger trailhead and continues north, joining with the upper trail. Looping in parts, both sections of the trail wind through prairie bluffs and wooded channels, offering vistas of the Missouri River. Steep stairs without handrails are present on portions of the trail. Some areas may be muddy or impassable due to seasonal water fluctuations. This trail is open to hiking and snowshoeing. It is not groomed for skiing.

Cottonwood Trail/Gaines Trail

Distance: 5.4 miles
Open to: hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing

These connected trails (Cottonwood 3.3 miles, Gaines 2.1 miles) are accessed from the Matah Trail at the preserve boundary. They wind through the bottomland forest on preserve property and follow an old jeep track still used for scientific studies. Hikers are asked not to disturb areas marked with paint or flags as studies are still in progress. Groomed for skiing.

Levis Trail

Distance: 2.2 miles
Open to: hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing

A 2.2 mile route that winds through the Lewis and Clark backcountry on a 300-acre accreted "island" that joined the mainland following the completion of Garrison Dam. Groomed for skiing.

TNC Self-Guided Prairie Trail

Distance: 2 miles
Open to: hiking

This trail crosses over two miles of preserve prairie and wooded draws. A guidebook at the trailhead provides information on wildlife, plants and history. The trail is part of the Nature Conservancy bison pasture. The trailhead is located three-quarters of a mile north of the park entrance. Not open for skiing. Please note that Bison are present on this trail, remember to keep a safe distance and respect that they are wild animals. 

Trail Maps:crsp_main_map.jpg

  • A PDF Map of the trails is available here.
  • All North Dakota State Park and Recreation Area maps are available free on Avenza maps, download the free App here.
  • Paper park maps are also available at the park.

Upcoming EventsView All Events

Memorial Day

Categories: all, Cross Ranch State Park

This Memorial Day remember those brave men and women who have served our country in the armed forces. Here at Cross Ranch State Park, we welcome all military personnel with free entrance to the park. We will also be setting out popular camping games (ex. corn hole, ladder toss, bocce ball) to play throughout the park. The visitor center will be decorated with red, white, and blue to show our support and gratitude. Campers will also be able to show their support for the military by decorating their own campsites. There will be prizes for the campsites that display the most patriotic spirit.

Missouri River Bluegrass Festival

Categories: all, Cross Ranch State Park

Our 29th Annual Missouri River Bluegrass Festival will be on June 14th & 15th, 2019. This event is one of Cross Ranch State Park's longest running events! 

8th Annual Bluegrass Goes PINK

Categories: all, Cross Ranch State Park

Bluegrass Goes Pink is an event that raises awareness of cancer. All proceeds that are collected from this event are donated to the Bismarck Cancer Center. The day starts with a 5K & 10K run/walk trail race at 9:00 am. Cottonwood then plays relaxing bluegrass music during the evening to commemorate cancer survivors and those who have fought bravely. 

Bison Stampede Run

Categories: all, Cross Ranch State Park

Welcome to our 4th Annual Bison Stampede Run! On Sunday, August 11, we invite you to stampede with us on a variety of back-country runs that are located alongside the Missouri River in an old-growth Cottonwood forest. This year we are hosting a 5K, 10K and 15K run in our beautiful park! Registration will include race and breakfast access in addition to a memorable Bison Stampede item. A small breakfast will be served post-race to include fruit and granola bars. We will also serve refreshments such as coffee, water, and juice.

Scones for Small Business Saturday

Categories: all, Cross Ranch State Park

In conjunction with our surrounding communities, we wanted to offer free blueberry and raspberry scones for Small Business Saturday. Since it is our Visitor Appreciation Day, all daily entrance fees to Cross Ranch State Park are waived. Feel free to shop small within our surrounding communities and take a relaxing hike through the park while replenishing with scones and chai tea or coffee. We hope to see you there!


Contact Us

Cross Ranch State Park
1403 River Road
Center, ND 58530

(701) 794-3731

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