North Dakota : Safety by City
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- Fort Ransom
- Grand Forks
- Valley City
- West Fargo
Walhalla, North Dakota, a town with a name inspired by Norse mythology’s Valhalla, has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1871.
Tucked into the northeastern part of the state, Walhalla earned the moniker “Rendezvous Region” due to its strategic location at the northernmost point of the Red River Valley, where it was once a vital meeting point (aka rendezvous point) for fur traders and explorers traveling between the United States and Canada.
Despite its small size, Walhalla offers a range of activities for visitors, from the trails of Pembina Gorge to the slopes of the Frostfire ski resort.
For those intrigued by the region’s history of cross-border trade and immigration, a visit to the nearby international border crossing is a must.
That’s just a 5-10 minute drive north.
Additionally, keep an eye on the town’s event calendar for local festivals and events that celebrate its heritage and culture.
A scenic drive along the picturesque Red River Valley rounds out the experience, offering breathtaking landscapes and glimpses of historical landmarks.
In Walhalla, you’ll find a captivating blend of history, natural beauty, and warm community hospitality, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a unique travel experience and not easily scared off by rough winters.
There is a Walhalla, South Carolina, that comes up often in search results.
Avoid those by looking for the 701 area code on any given website.
Warnings & Dangers in Walhalla
OVERALL RISK: LOW
Walhalla has a low overall risk, with low crime rates and plenty of things to do. However, you'll need to like the great outdoors to enjoy your time here fully.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
You can review the Pembina County Public Transit options, but I don't think they'll meet most of your needs. Taxis and rideshares will be hard to find here reliably. The best option by far is your own rental car. There's a low risk with any option, but don't rely on rideshares or public transit.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
This is another low risk, with no recent report of pickpockets or purse snatchings in the past decade. Keep it that way by using standard safety practices.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
The winter hazards here are paramount to understand. Do you know the difference between a snowstorm and a blizzard? What separates the temperature from the wind chill? Then there are risks of floods, wildfires, severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes the rest of the year. The emergency management website for Pembina County has the all-hazard emergency plan you can review. It's a medium risk but much higher if you aren't prepared.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
This isn't a region that gets many robberies, much less muggings. You'll enjoy a low risk, but don't let your guard down.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
The risk is low international terrorism, but being this close to the border, there's always a risk of smugglers coming across with drugs or weapons. It's not something that would impact you directly, but it's worth noting that the Canadian border has as many potential risks as the Mexican border.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Scams here are mostly residential. You can review the latest ones on the sheriff's Facebook page. The risk is low, but don't let someone sell you a deal too good to be true. Avoid places like Craigslist to purchase items or book rooms.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Nothing in the crime data or safety guidance changes when it comes to women. Winter travelers should definitely dress more for warmth than to be fashionable.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The latest Water Quality Report shows no violations and full compliance. In the winter, you might be asked to leave faucets dripping to prevent frozen pipes.
Safest Places to Visit in Walhalla
The North Dakota tourism website has a section about Walhalla.
You’ll find much more information on the Rendezvous Region website.
This will also cover all the other cities and towns in Pembina County.
Free travel guides, maps, and other resources are available to download without giving personal information.
Nature enthusiasts will find their haven just a short drive from Walhalla at the Pembina Gorge State Recreation Area.
This pristine natural oasis boasts a network of hiking trails, making it a delightful spot for a leisurely walk or a challenging trek.
Birdwatchers will also be delighted by the diverse avian population that calls this area home.
And if you’re an avid mountain biker, you’re in for a treat, as this is considered one of North Dakota’s premier mountain biking destinations, complete with a ski lift for bicycles!
Skiers and snowboarders should check out Frostfire Park.
It’s not the largest ski resort, but you’ll find slopes for all experience levels.
To dive into the rich tapestry of Walhalla’s history, be sure to visit the Walhalla Historical Museum.
This treasure trove of local lore showcases the area’s heritage, from its Native American roots to the pioneering European settlers who shaped the town’s destiny.
The Gingras Trading Post State Historic Site preserves Antoine Blanc Gingras’ 1840s Métis trading post and home near Walhalla.
Gingras, a successful fur trader, amassed substantial wealth and expanded his trading posts across Dakota Territory and southern Manitoba.
The site features meticulously restored buildings, showcasing the historical colors and offering insights into Métis heritage and the fur trade.
Authentic fur trade goods are available for purchase in the Gingras store.
For a truly unique experience, take a guided tour of the Forest River Colony.
This Hutterite community provides insights into a way of life that may be unfamiliar to many visitors.
Learn about their customs, traditions, and communal living practices.
You can also purchase fresh produce and handcrafted goods made by the residents, making it a worthwhile stop for souvenirs and a deeper understanding of local culture.
Golf enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Walhalla Country Club.
Surrounded by picturesque landscapes, this golf course offers a challenging round of golf in a tranquil setting.
It’s an excellent way to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
As you explore the heart of Walhalla, you’ll discover a charming downtown area.
Stroll along the streets and pop into local shops, where you can find unique treasures and enjoy a cup of coffee at a cozy café.
The warm and welcoming atmosphere of downtown Walhalla makes it a delightful place to spend some time.
Anglers will love the nearby Red River.
The river is teeming with fish, including catfish and walleye.
Spend a peaceful day by the water and try your hand at catching your dinner.
Places to Avoid in Walhalla
You don’t have bad neighborhoods or dangerous parts of town in Walhalla.
The crime rate is too low, and the town is too small, anyway.
It’s important to avoid ignoring weather watches and warnings here.
If there’s a No Travel Advisory, don’t travel.
It takes a pretty big wallop of a storm for this region to issue this advisory.
At the same time, the storms here are fierce.
Even thunderstorms in the summer can be quite intense, though short-lived.
One thing I see too often in my emergency management career is people who park under overpasses during a major storm.
This is dangerous for you and other cars on the road.
If visibility is bad, a semi-truck could rear-end the traffic under the bridge.
Some vehicles won’t be able to stop in time.
The overpass can also create a wind tunnel, making a bad situation worse.
If you need to pull over, do so on the side of the road.
Better yet, when you see a storm approaching, take the next exit and wait it out.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Walhalla
- Walhalla is a small town without its own police department. Law enforcement comes from the Pembina County Sheriff’s Office. You can call (701) 265-4122 to get more specific safety information for Walhalla or follow them on Facebook.
- Sign up for emergency weather alerts on the “Links” section of the Pembina County Emergency Management website. You should also have a weather radio with you if you’re outside of the mobile service range.
- Anglers and hunters need a license, permit, or safety training (depending on which activity is planned) from the North Dakota Department of Fish & Game. You’ll pay extra as a non-resident and might have additional requirements for hunting.
- If you’re driving the scenic byway, please use the pullouts along the road to take photos. Never take pictures while driving. Even though some of the roads are long and straight, distracted driving is still illegal. Also, make sure you don’t drive with your bright headlights on when cars are approaching you.
- When you’re on the trails, give all wildlife at least 50 yards of distance. Never call, lure, or feed wildlife. Not only will it potentially end up with you getting hurt, it’s against federal laws.
- If you visit tribal land, you’ll be in a sovereign nation with its own law enforcement. Stick to the speed limit and never pull over and walk on any land if you aren’t 100% sure it’s public land.
- Watch out for wildlife in the roadways and always heed their right-of-way. Even if they are stopped in the middle of the road, you should stop, too, until they move on. Don’t get out of the car.
- Never drink water found in the wilderness. Always have a way to filtrate water or get cleaning tablets. It’s best to bring a gallon of water per person per day.
- Use the North Dakota Department of Transportation website to find emergency kits and travel lists for each season. For example, you’ll want a red towel or garment to use as a flag if you get stuck in a snow bank.
- When visiting the fossil sites, don’t take anything. Even taking a rock or small fossil violates the “Leave No Trace” principles. If you believe you have come across something of value, please let a park ranger or law enforcement know.
So... How Safe Is Walhalla Really?
Walhalla’s law enforcement comes from the Pembina County Sheriff’s Office, making it hard to narrow down exact crime data for the city.
At the same time, the entire county has a very low crime rate, with violent crime not even reaching double digits for the past decade.
On top of that, almost all crimes in that timeframe were among people who knew each other.
That leaves a stranger’s risk of being a victim very low.
As far as theft, of the 10 reports, one of them was a car break-in.
Yep, even here, you need to lock your car doors each time you park and keep personal valuables out of plain sight.
The biggest safety risk will be a battle between you and the weather.
This isn’t an area where the generic “Don’t drive when the weather is bad” will suffice.
No Travel Advisories are issued often.
Flooding can cover roadways, and it’s up to you to respect the barricades.
If the forecast calls for a foot of snow, believe it.
You get the point, right?
I’m not one to say, “I hate winter,” but I think you have to be tougher than me to enjoy the winters of Walhalla and the Rendezvous Region.
No matter what seasons calls you to visit, just plan ahead for weather risks and use common sense.
You’ll have a great time.
How Does Walhalla Compare?
|New York City||67|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)||60|
International visitors need a passport and visa or visa waiver. You can review the U.S. State Department website for more information. If you're crossing into North Dakota from Canada, you should review the Canada Border Services Agency website for information about going back and forth.
Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here. Canadian currency isn't accepted. You'll be able to exchange currency at the border if you choose, but a credit card should cover most activities and amenities.
From October through April, there will likely be days at or below freezing. December through February get closer to 0 °F for lows. Pack warm layers with waterproof outer layers. Sunscreen should be used year-round, with bug spray very handy in the warmer months.
The closest commercial airport to Walhalla, North Dakota, is Grand Forks International Airport (GFK). It's approximately 81 miles (130 kilometers) south of Walhalla. Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG) is about a two-hour drive, but you will cross over to Canada.
Travel insurance is recommended to cover the weather risks with resulting delays and cancelations. Car rental insurance is important since you'll drive long, remote roads to get to and from Walhalla.
Walhalla Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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North Dakota - Safety by City