Visit Mankato

U.S.-Dakota War

Mahkato Pow Wow

Self-Guided Tours Historical Highlights | Betsy & Tacy | U.S.-Dakota Conflict

During the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862 at least 450 white settlers and soldiers lost their lives along with many unrecorded Dakota casualties and forced removals. Today we try to understand the events leading up to the conflict along with the grim outcome – the simultaneous hanging of 38 Dakota on December 26, 1862. It was the largest mass execution in U.S. history. The U.S.-Dakota Conflict also was the largest attack on settlers in the history of the U.S.

Setting the Scene   |   Chronology – 1862 War   |   Resources for the U.S.-Dakota Conflict   |  Monuments

A Self Guided Tour

This self-guided tour takes you to 20 historic sites in Mankato, St. Peter, Redwood Falls, Sleepy Eye and New Ulm, Minnesota. Download the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862 Self Guided Tour PDF. Go>

U.S.-Dakota Conflict Events

Mankato (Mahkato) Annual Traditional Pow-Wow Honoring the 38 Dakota
Every September, Native Americans from a number of tribes gather in Mankato’s Land of Memories Park, where the Dakota people held many ceremonies and gatherings before the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862. The conflict resulted in the execution of 38 Dakota warriors in Mankato on December 26, 1862. The Pow-wow, which is co-sponsored and co-organized by the Mdewakanton Association, is open to the public. In keeping with the theme of reconciliation visitors and participants, native and non-native alike are welcome to attend. The Pow-Wow has been held in Mankato since 1972. The three-day event includes the beautiful regalia of the dancers, traditional music, delicious foods and beautiful crafts. Learn More. Go>

U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862 Geo-Caching

The Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway (MRVSB) is offering Geo-Caching relating to historic figures of the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862.

A variety of people stand out as important figures in the U.S.–Dakota Conflict of 1862. Learn the significance of some local missionaries, traders, and leaders of the Dakota and U.S. military during the events of 1862. Informational trading cards are found in eight locations along the Minnesota River Valley from Big Stone Lake State Park to Minneopa State Park. Use your GPS unit to find the hidden cache and collect a card. Collect all eight cards and be eligible to purchase a special geo-coin featuring a ninth key person, a figure who was famous all along the Minnesota River Valley.

What is geo-caching?
Geo-caching is a high-tech treasure hunt that has been popular in the Minnesota State Parks for several years. This activity uses the internet and a handheld GPS (global positioning system) to get coordinates.  Once you have the coordinates and clues, you search for your hidden treasures or caches. For more information on geo-caching, go to:

 Geo-cache the Byway.
Learn more about eight influential people from along the Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway when you locate each cache at the following locations:

  • Big Stone Lake State Park
  • Lac Qui Parle State Park
  • Upper Sioux Agency State Park
  • Joseph Brown State Wayside Rest
  • Lower Sioux Agency State Historical Site
  • Fort Ridgely State Park
  • Flandrau State Park
  • Minneopa State Park

Start Now
1. Download the GPS Coordinates (
2. Find the caches and collect the cards.
3. Log your experiences on
4. Collect all eight cards and purchase your coin from the Upper Sioux Agency State Park  5.  The coin costs – $5

Send to:
Upper Sioux Agency State Park
5908 Highway 67, Granite Falls, MN 56241

What you’ll need:

  • A handheld GPS unit. If you don’t have your own, Flandrau and Upper Sioux Agency State Parks has GPS units to loan and can train you to use one.  Call ahead to reserve.
  • A small trinket to trade for other items in the cache.
  • Your sense of adventure.

For More Information Contact:
Kristi Fernholz, Community Development Planner
Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission


Terri Dinesen
Upper Sioux Agency State Park