Is Valley City Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On October 6, 2023
Valley City, United States
Safety Index:
82
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Valley City, North Dakota, a picturesque town nestled along the banks of the meandering Sheyenne River, boasts a rich history and a well-deserved reputation as the “City of Bridges.”

This charming community is often regarded as the most beautiful city in North Dakota, and for good reason.

Founded in 1874, Valley City’s history is intertwined with its unique topography.

The city is built on a series of river bends, which led to the construction of numerous bridges over the years.

These graceful spans, including the iconic Hi-Line Bridge, earned Valley City its nickname and added to the town’s aesthetic appeal.

The Sheyenne River Valley, with its rolling hills and vibrant foliage in the fall, contributes to the town’s natural beauty.

The community’s commitment to preserving green spaces and parks enhances its charm.

Moreover, Valley City’s well-maintained historical architecture, particularly in the downtown area, offers a glimpse into the past.

Visitors will also appreciate the warm hospitality of the locals, who take pride in their town’s welcoming atmosphere.

The sense of friendliness and safety is authentic here. 

It’s not the most exciting city in the country, but it’s a great place to escape and relax.

Train fans will absolutely love this city, and I’m smiling right now, thinking how much my dad would’ve loved to see the railroad bridge while he was still here.

Warnings & Dangers in Valley City

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

There's a low risk here. Crime rates are low, and plenty of safe activities are available.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Check out the South Central Transit Network website, but I don't think it will be enough to meet your public transportation needs. Taxis and rideshares will be available sparingly, but I wouldn't rely on them. The safest and best low-risk option is having your own rental car.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

This is another low risk, with fewer than 100 thefts in 2022. None of those were pickpockets or purse snatchings. You still want to be careful with how much you carry with you, which isn't always easy in winter.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

We're assigning a medium risk to this because the weather can be dangerous throughout the year. Winters are cold, yes, but at times cold enough to cause injury or death within minutes. Snow storms, blizzards and ice storms can limit visibility and make travel impossible. When the weather warms up, flooding can happen, severe thunderstorms build, and tornadoes are more likely. Then there's the wildfire risk, drought, and excessive winds. Pretty much every risk but volcanoes and earthquakes.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

From what I can tell, looking at two sources, there hasn't been a robbery in Valley City for at least the past decade. That's a low risk, but we never get too comfortable during vacation to treat it as such, right?

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

The risk is low, but you should know about the military bases and nuclear missile silos across the state. If you travel about an hour north, you can visit the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site to learn about the nuclear age and be more comfortable with the military protection in place you'll rarely see.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

I've seen a few scams, mostly utility and IRS scams, going around this area. They are highly targeted at residents. You'll have a low risk here but always check for the latest scams in a city where you're visiting, just in case.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Women shouldn't have any additional concerns about visiting here. The biggest thing to keep in mind is to avoid packing anything that will expose your skin when it's brutally cold out. I have a bad habit of thinking boots and a dress will be just fine, but then that cold air hits, and I'm always running back for leggings or jeans.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The water quality passes all requirements here, and if there's a more pressing issue, like due to flooding, you'll get emergency alerts about that. Be sure to sign up for alerts and check the local social media sites when flooding happens.

Safest Places to Visit in Valley City

ValleyCityTourism.com is the official tourism site for the region.

A tourism guide is available to download for free without giving personal information like email address or phone number.

You can also have that mailed to you.

Start your journey at the Rosebud Visitor’s Center.

You’ll find all the maps you need, but also a historic railcar and the North Dakota Agriculture Hall of Fame.

Pick up a map of the bridges in town to take a historic bridge walking tour, or ask if guided tours are being offered during your visit.

You can’t visit the City of Bridges without seeing bridges, am I right?

Downtown Valley City has some surprises along the way:

  • First Episcopal Church: Begin your exploration at the top of Central Avenue, across from the high school, where you’ll encounter the first Episcopal Church in North Dakota.
  • Carnegie Library: Just a block south, you’ll find an Andrew Carnegie public library with original furnishings and woodwork, preserving the charm of a bygone era.
  • Barnes County Museum: Railroad enthusiasts can listen to captivating tales of the area’s rich history and see intriguing exhibits, including a miniature version of the Hi-Line Bridge and even a dinosaur!
  • Peggy Lee Mural: Don’t miss the Peggy Lee mural, a striking work of art gracing the side of the Rudolph Hotel, adding artistic flair to the downtown area.
  • Valley City State University: Your journey concludes at the end of Central Avenue, where you’ll find Valley City State University, located within a historical district.

Another must-see is Medicine Wheel Park, where you can explore Native American history through a fascinating collection of standing stones and sculptures that display the Native American Solar Calendar.

Wander along the Sheyenne River National Scenic Byway, known for its picturesque bridges and charming riverfront views.

This scenic drive is a must-do, especially during the fall when the foliage transforms the landscape into a kaleidoscope of colors.

Trails can also be tackled by walking or paddling.

The North Country Trail runs through eight states, with the path passing through Valley City.

The North Country Trail ends in North Dakota at Lake Sakakawea State Park.

Nearly 200 miles of the river are open to paddling, fishing, or exploring when the weather is warm.

For history buffs, the Barnes County Historical Society Museum is a treasure trove of local artifacts and stories.

Dive into the past of Valley City and the surrounding area, gaining a deeper understanding of its rich heritage.

Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate Bjornson Park Public Golf Course, where you can tee off against a backdrop of rolling hills and pristine landscapes.

It’s a golfer’s paradise with challenging holes and serene surroundings.

Places to Avoid in Valley City

Valley City is a safe place where you don’t have to worry about bad neighborhoods or dangerous parts of town.

If you’re there during any kind of flood advisory, watch, or warning, pay attention to local news reports and social media.

Some areas in town are prone to flooding, and that includes the bridges over the river.

You should never try to drive down a flooded roadway, even if you don’t think it looks that deep.

It just takes six inches of moving water to carry a car away or knock down a person.

Floods can also wash away roads.

For those who want to avoid the coldest temperatures of the year, avoid visiting from December through February.

On average, the temperature doesn’t get above freezing during that time.

January’s lows average -4 °F.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Valley City

  1. Valley City does have its own police department. Follow them on Facebook @valleycitypolicedepartment. Call (701)845-3110 if you have specific safety questions.
  2. Valley City and Barnes County use Everbridge for emergency alerts, so ignore any guidance to sign up through CodeRED. You must have the correct information and current registration so severe weather alerts can be sent to your mobile device.
  3. If you will be outside the mobile service range, it’s smart to buy a NOAA weather radio. You will need to get that programmed to the right channel. Receiver information will be on the National Weather Service site for the region.
  4. Anyone who has information after a crime or suspicious activity can use the Tip411 app to report to the police anonymously. Even though crime isn’t a huge concern here, the growing drug crime rates warrant every little bit of help the department can get. If you don’t want to get the app, you can text VCPOLICE to 847411.
  5. Parking rules are just each October through March. During this span, drivers can’t park boats, trailers, or campers on public streets. Violators could have their vehicle towed. Overnight parking restrictions also go into effect at this time.
  6. North Dakota adopted a seat belt law in 2023 that allows police to pull you over for you or someone in the vehicle not wearing a seatbelt. Yep, back seat, too!
  7. Warm weather brings motorcycles to this region. Please be aware of riders sharing the roads with you. That goes for bicyclists as well. Cyclists sharing the road with vehicles should follow all the same laws, including stopping at stop signs and red lights.
  8. You can call 511 anytime within the North Dakota boundaries to get an update on road conditions statewide. For help on the go, use the 511 North Dakota website and app.
  9. When driving one of the scenic byways in this area, please wait until you find a safe place to pull off the road to take photos. Don’t drive while distracted or slow down so someone else can take a photo. There are plenty of designated stops along the way.
  10. Anglers and hunters need a license, but there are different requirements for each one. Check out the North Dakota Department of Fish & Game for the rules, regulations, prices, and options.

So... How Safe Is Valley City Really?

Valley City is almost as safe as it is beautiful.

Violent crime rates, even when considering the small population, are less than half the national average.

That is to say that 10 violent crimes happened in 2022, and all were between people who knew each other.

That makes the risk of a stranger being a violent crime victim even lower.

Theft rates are at the national average but keep in mind the population vs. how crime math is done.

In reality, there were 97 thefts in 2022, or about eight per month.

11% of those were car break-ins or car accessory thefts, a risk you can lower by simply locking your car and not leaving personal items inside.

Of course, you can’t control the weather risks here, but you can prepare for them.

This region is pretty tough when it comes to weather endurance, but the people here are also used to it.

Ensure you have all the right information and education about the weather risks, preparedness, and avoidance of putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

If you do all that, you’ll be able to see even more beauty in Valley City.

How Does Valley City Compare?

CitySafety Index
Valley City82
Baltimore56
Boston67
Washington DC56
New York City67
Detroit56
San Diego67
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82
Cordoba (Argentina)61
Toronto (Canada)81
Melbourne (Australia)80

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

The water quality passes all requirements here, and if there's a more pressing issue, like due to flooding, you'll get emergency alerts about that. Be sure to sign up for alerts and check the local social media sites when flooding happens.

Currency

Currency

No currency other than the U.S. Dollar (USD) is accepted in North Dakota. You can exchange currency at any local branch of your home bank for the lowest fees. ATMs will provide currency exchange, but that will likely cost an extra fee.

Weather

Weather

It might not help much to say, "There are places much colder in North Dakota," but it will help you get packing for a trip between October and March. Layers, layers, layers. Even at the peak of summer, lows can still be in the 50s. You'll get great t-shirt weather during the days. Just be sure to wear sunscreen and bring bug spray.

Airports

Airports

Hector International Airport in Fargo is the closest commercial airport. That's about an hour east. Grand Forks International Airport sits about two hours north.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for your flight, rental car, and health emergencies will give you peace of mind while enjoying the North Dakota landscape.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Valley City Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -14° C
Feb -11° C
Mar -4° C
Apr 5° C
May 13° C
Jun 18° C
Jul 21° C
Aug 20° C
Sep 14° C
Oct 6° C
Nov -3° C
Dec -11° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
-8-52122024282721133-5
Low
°C
-20-17-10-251113126-1-8-16
High
°F
182336546875828170553723
Low
°F
-411428415255544330183

North Dakota - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Bismarck82
Devils Lake84
Fargo65
Fort Ransom79
Garrison79
Grand Forks83
Medora83
Minot81
Valley City82
Wahpeton82
Walhalla81
West Fargo78

Where to Next?

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