Verendrye National Monument

The first exploration of the northern United States east of the Rocky Mountains is commemorated by the Verendrye National Monument at the Old Crossing of the Missouri River in North Dakota. Here rises Crowhigh Butte, on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, an eminence commanding a wide view in every direction.

Verendrye, the celebrated French explorer, started from the north shore of Lake Superior about 1740 and passed westward and southward into the regions of the great plains. He or his sons, for the records of their journeys are confusing, passed westward into Montana along a course which Lewis and Clark paralleled in 1806, swung southward in the neighborhood of Fort Benton, and skirted the Rockies nearly to the middle of Wyoming, passing within a couple of hundred miles of the Yellowstone National Park.

Crowhigh Butte is supposed to have given the Verendryes their first extensive view of the upper Missouri. The butte was long a landmark to guide early settlers to Old Crossing.