Travel the Historic Trail Along U.S. Highway 212 from Belle Fourche, SD to Crow Agency, MT

Crow Buttes

The struggles began centuries ago with the native people and their intra-tribal and territorial battles. Early in the 1800s, the Crow were chased out of western South Dakota by the Sioux who left Minnesota and eastern South Dakota because of the encroachment of the white man from the east.

One such notable battle happened in what is now called “Crow Buttes” located in Harding County, South Dakota, about 40 miles north of Belle Fourche, SD along US Highway 85.

In the summer of 1822, the Sioux ravaged a Crow Camp near Crow Buttes and warfare soon ensued. Wanting revenge against the Sioux after the attack, a Crow war party hastily left their women and children and old folks at Sand Creek north of the Buttes, looking for a better vantage point on top of the Crow Buttes. Because of their hasty departure, the Crow had no water with them and there was no chance of rain in sight in the arid high plains of South Dakota. The Sioux encircled the Crow war party atop the Crow Buttes and waited patiently until the trapped warriors died from thirst.