North Dakota : Safety by City
- Devils Lake
- Fort Ransom
- Grand Forks
- Valley City
- West Fargo
West Fargo, North Dakota, as the name suggests, is west of Fargo.
It’s a city of nearly 40,000 people and part of the larger Fargo-Moorehead (Minnesota) metro area.
West Fargo’s roots can be traced back to the early 1870s when the Northern Pacific Railway extended its tracks through the area.
Initially a farming community, it rapidly evolved into a thriving city.
This city is more than just a suburban neighborhood of Fargo; it’s a city with its own distinct identity.
You’ll find a mix of modern amenities and a warm, small-town feel here.
The city’s well-planned neighborhoods, excellent schools, and numerous parks make it an attractive place to live and visit.
Foodies will appreciate West Fargo’s growing culinary scene.
From charming local cafes to international cuisine, there’s something for every palate.
Be sure to savor some North Dakota specialties like bison burgers or hotdish, a beloved regional comfort food.
Visitors will also enjoy a lower crime rate than Fargo while still being close to all the major attractions.
Warnings & Dangers in West Fargo
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk in West Fargo, with low crime rates compared to state, national, and nearby Fargo rates. It's a more residential community, but it's definitely a safer place to stay.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
The West Fargo Transportation page on the city's website details the MATBUS routes and options. You can use rideshares and taxis if you'd like, but having a rental car will give you more freedom. All options are a low risk, but read on about the car theft rates to decide if you want to rent a car or not.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk here, with just one pickpocket reported in 2022. It's still wise to behave like there's a higher risk, like limiting what you bring with you and keeping your purse and wallet secured.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Winter weather brings ice storms, blizzards, and snowstorms, sometimes with dangerously cold temperatures. Then, when it warms up, the flood risk rises with the temperatures. Severe thunderstorms and dangerous tornadoes are possible, too. Because of all this, there's a medium risk.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Just three robberies were reported in 2022, giving this a low risk. The risk is almost 12 times higher in Fargo.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
This is another low risk, with no real potential targets for international terrorists. At the same time, domestic terrorism and gun violence can happen in any city. Most of the incidents you've seen on the news were in places where people said, "I never thought it would happen here." That's enough of a reason always to report suspicious activity to the police.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
The police department has a "Scam and Fraud" website section. You should review that but also have the comfort of this being a low risk. Most scams here target residents.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM
This is another low risk. In fact, some might even find West Fargo boring and venture into Fargo, which is more of a medium risk for women (well, everyone) based on the crime data.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The water here is safe to drink, and you can always review the Water Quality Report on the city's website to get the specifics. Water is held to high standards in the states, and if there were an issue with the water quality, you would be notified at your hotel or through emergency alerts (more on that to come).
Safest Places to Visit in West Fargo
To find the tourism page, you’ll look for VisitFargoMoorehead.org, which will cover the things to do in West Fargo.
You can review the Fargo attractions through our separate article on that city.
That said, you’ll find more things to do outside of West Fargo than in it.
A downloadable tourism guide is available online.
Bonanzaville is a captivating living history museum that whisks you back in time.
It’s a treasure trove of over 40 historic buildings and thousands of artifacts, offering a vivid glimpse into the past.
Wander through authentically preserved structures, like a one-room schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, and vintage homes.
Don’t miss the immersive experiences, from riding a charming vintage carousel to exploring the Antique Car Museum.
Rendezvous Park features a waterfall, among many other things to do, like disc golf, sand volleyball, and walking paths.
This is also the perfect spot for winter sledding.
The North Dakota Horse Park is a dynamic venue where equestrian excellence and entertainment collide.
This versatile facility hosts a wide range of events, from thrilling horse races that keep the adrenaline pumping to rodeos that capture the Wild West spirit.
Beyond horse-related spectacles, it serves as a vibrant hub for concerts, festivals, and community gatherings.
While there are several wineries in this region, 4E Winery is just west of West Fargo.
You can sample the local flavors with a flight or buy a bottle and enjoy the rural landscape.
West Fargo also has the Shooting Park of Horace and Swift River Outfitters nearby, offering unique outdoor experiences with expert-guided hosts.
Little ones will love the Fargo Kids Play Museum, which is just across Veterans Boulevard from the West Fargo boundary.
This is a new attraction in town, so we don’t have more information than that, but you can call (484)818-2240 to get more.
Veterans Memorial Arena is a popular ice-skating rink where you can join the open skate or watch hockey games.
For a family of five, you’ll pay just $5 to skate.
Places to Avoid in West Fargo
West Fargo doesn’t have bad neighborhoods or places to avoid.
The same doesn’t hold for Fargo, but you’ll likely realize you’re in a sketchy part of town before you even have to ask, “Is this place dangerous?”
Meteorologists can forecast the weather, but they can’t predict it.
It’s easy to assume a storm will not be that bad or that snow might turn to rain.
However, you should take any watch, warning, or advisory seriously.
Blizzards are not the same as snowstorms, but both come with risks that you need to be aware of before you walk or drive.
Storms can also develop quickly, so you don’t want to be miles from home in the wilderness and get stuck.
Based on the crime data from Fargo, I would definitely make sure to lock your car and never leave personal items inside.
Car theft and car break-ins are rampant.
You’re safer in West Fargo but not safe enough to throw caution to the wind.
Also, no matter how cold it is, don’t leave a running car to warm up without being in it.
Safety Tips for Traveling to West Fargo
- West Fargo is a separate city from Fargo, so it does have its own police department. You can find them on all social media sites with the handle @westfargopolice. They also have a YouTube channel. You can call (701) 515-5500 to ask specific safety questions.
- West Fargo Police have a transparency dashboard that shows the current crime rates and other violations. It’s a great way to get more current crime statistics than the previous year, which is the only official crime data we have.
- Sign up for Cass Clay Alerts on the police department’s website. There might be times when a flood is imminent, even if it isn’t storming outside. Heed all evacuation orders and pay attention to weather alerts issued through that alert system.
- Review the Winter Vehicle Safety Kit on the city’s website and purchase the items listed. Even if you don’t need to use them, you can donate them to charity later. You definitely don’t want to be stranded on a winter road without these supplies, and sometimes the weather is too intense for an immediate rescue.
- If you’re visiting between October and April, I would strongly recommend getting a four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicle to navigate the roads. There can be long stretches when it doesn’t get warm enough for snow to melt, and even a sunny day can have ice on the road. Watch out for the infamous black ice, which is most likely in the morning when snowmelt refreezes in road crevices.
- The North Dakota Department of Fish & Game issues fishing licenses, which are required for all anglers over the age of 15. Review the non-resident options on their website and purchase them online.
- If you’re driving to Canada during this trip, you should reach out to the Canada Border Services Agency to get the visa requirements there. Also, your criminal history matters in Canada. Even a DUI from several years ago can impact your access to the country.
- Since West Fargo is close to South Dakota and Minnesota, you’ll want to follow the 511 pages for each state. That will give you road conditions, construction zones, real-time traffic maps, and live cameras for each one.
- Before planning your routes around West Fargo, check the city’s Streets page. There’s a map with construction zones and road closures highlighted to help your GPS system navigate.
- Sometimes it’s easier to watch a video than read a bunch of website links. The West Fargo Police Department has a page just for crime prevention, with several videos covering the biggest concerns a tourist would have.
So... How Safe Is West Fargo Really?
If you’re choosing between Fargo and West Fargo, you should definitely consider West Fargo.
Crime rates aren’t just a little bit lower – they are exponentially lower.
For example, 2 cars are stolen each day in Fargo (on average), while West Fargo sees about one a month.
Fargo’s violent crime rate is twice the state average, and West Fargo’s is 42% lower.
Fewer than 3% of the violent crime victims in West Fargo are strangers.
That number goes up to 15% in Fargo.
The cities are laid out on a grid system, with major highways or interstates in all directions.
It’s worth staying closer to West Fargo and driving into Fargo.
Of course, the weather safety is completely in your hands.
If you arrive with just a regular winter coat and a pair of thin gloves, you’re putting your health at risk in the bitterly brisk temperatures during winter.
If you plan an outing without checking the forecast, you could be setting yourself up to be exposed to a violent thunderstorm.
Using the steps we’ve talked about here will make your time in West Fargo more enjoyable and safer.
How Does West Fargo Compare?
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)||63|
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)||61|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)||60|
Once you're in the United States, you can travel freely across state borders without showing ID. However, to get into the country, you'll need either a visa or visa waiver and a passport. The exact types of visas and requirements for a waiver are on the State Department's website.
Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here, and it's smart to use your credit card as much as possible for the best fraud protection. Any bank where you are a member will offer the lowest fees. You can also use ATMs, but you'll pay a fee for each transaction.
Nobody ever said, "It's so hot here" while visiting West Fargo. Plan for layers of clothing except for the height of summer. You'll want bug spray when it's warm outside and many layers in the winter. Remember, cold weather here can be deadly if you aren't prepared.
Hector International Airport is on the north side of Fargo, just eight miles from West Fargo. It's the closest and most convenient airport.
For vacations to places prone to weather-related travel issues, travel insurance is always a smart choice. Don't forget about medical coverage as well if your health plan isn't valid in the U.S. It's also wise to verify rental car insurance will protect you fully in case of any accidents or roadside assistance needs.
West Fargo Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
|Temperature / Month||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec|
North Dakota - Safety by City