South of Pierre, US-83 crosses the Missouri River, then takes you into Fort Pierre (pop. 2,078). It’s not much now, but it has a rich history. As far back as 1832, it was known as Fort Pierre Chouteau, an American Fur Company trading post, and before that it was Ree and Arikara tribal lands. Located at the mouth of the Bad (Teton) River, Fort Pierre once was a thriving port, but it is better known as the site where Joseph La Framboise, a fur trader, stopped and erected a driftwood shelter out of necessity, establishing the area’s first white settlement.
Immediately south of Fort Pierre, typical South Dakota topography resumes: rolling black and green hills and twisting creek beds beneath sharp vertical drops of million-year-old geology.