Lewis and Clark Trail
- This article is an itinerary.
The Lewis and Clark Trail is a United States National Historic Trail commemorating the journey of the 1804-1806 Corps of Discovery expedition that explored the U.S.A.'s newly acquired Louisiana Purchase. Starting in Illinois, it follows the Missouri River to the headwaters in the Rocky Mountains, then over the Continental Divide. From there it follows the Clearwater, Snake and Columbia Rivers to the Pacific Ocean near Fort Clatsop Oregon. The expedition paved way for the wave of colonization known as the "Wild West", and the parallel Oregon Trail.
- See also: Early United States history
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, a trail of approximately three thousand seven hundred miles, extending from Wood River, Illinois, to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon, following the outbound and inbound routes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was created by Congress in the National Scenic and National Historic Trails law (16 U.S.C. 1244(a)). Today's Lewis and Clark NHT is the joint effort of many organizations and agencies. Although the Trail is administered by the NPS, sites along the Trail are managed by federal land management agencies, state, local, tribal, and private organizations.
North Dakota, like many other states along the Missouri, has designated a "Lewis and Clark Trail" following the river on both sides. Also common to these states is the naming of the state highways running alongside the rivers; 1804 on the east side and 1806 on the west. In North Dakota the 1804/1806 signage can be spotty, but the "Lewis and Clark Trail" signs are always there.
There are other places as well to experience Lewis and Clark's journey. In Billings Montana, Pompey's Pillar Rock is a national monument featuring William Clark's signature on an unusually large rock along the Yellowstone River. A new interpretive center and museum opened in July 2005. Tours and viewing opportunities out of Billings of Pompey's Pillar Rock are available to the public by the Whoopah Ride.
You'll see the Cottonwood forests of the Missouri Valley, and depending on how close you stay to the river, you'll come across plenty of interesting things.
Notable Places along the East Bank
Notable Places along the West Bank
- Cross Ranch State Park near Stanton
- Lake Sakakawea State Park near the Garrison Dam
River crossings are located at
- Buford, on State Highway 58.
- Williston, on US 85 southwest of town.
- New Town, on State Highway 23 west of town.
- Garrison Dam, on State Highway 200.
- Washburn, on State Highway 200A.
- and of course Bismarck/Mandan.
Amtrak's Empire Builder follows part of the route in North Dakota and Montana. The National Park Service seasonally provides interpreters aboard the Empire Builder who explain Lewis and Clark's trip. The Portland branch of the Empire Builder follows their route on the Columbia River for several hundred more miles.
It is possible to retrace most of the route the same way Lewis and Clark did--by boat--on the Missouri and Columbia Rivers.
- Lewis and Clark State Historic Site, #1 Lewis & Clark Trail
Hartford, IL 62048, ☎ +1 618 251-5811.
- Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, 11 North 4th Street, St Louis, MO 63102, ☎ +1 314 655-1700.
- National Frontier Trails Center, 318 West Pacific, Independence, MO 64050, ☎ +1 816 325-7575.
- The Lewis and Clark Boathouse and Nature Center, Bishop's Landing, 1050 Riverside Drive, St Charles, MO 63301, ☎ +1 636 947-3199.
- Frontier Army Museum, 100 Reynolds Ave,Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027, ☎ +1 913 684-3767.
- Lewis and Clark State Park, Route 1, Box 104, Onawa, IA 51040, ☎ +1 712 423-2829.
- Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, 900 Larsen Road, Sioux City, IA 51102, ☎ +1 712 224-5242.
- Missouri River Basin Lewis & Clark Interpretive Trails & Visitors Center, 100 Valmont Drive, Nebraska City, NE 68410, ☎ +1 402 874-9900.
- Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Headquarters and Visitor Center, 601 Riverfront Drive, Omaha, NE 68102, ☎ +1 402 661-1804.
- Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center, St. Joseph’s Indian School, 1301 N. Main Street, Chamberlain, SD 57325, toll-free: +1-800-798-3452.
- Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, PO Box 9, County Road 37, Stanton, ND 58571, ☎ +1 701 745-3300.
- Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, RR3 Box 71, Williston, ND 58801, ☎ +1 701 572-9083.
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Box 7, Medora, ND 58645, ☎ +1 701 623-4466.
- Fort Mandan North Dakota Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, PO Box 607, Washburn, ND 58577, ☎ +1 701 462-8535.
- Pompeys Pillar National Historic Landmark, Pompeys Pillar, MT 59105, ☎ +1 406 875-2233.
- Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center, 4201 Giant Springs Road, PO Box 1806, Great Falls, MT 59403, ☎ +1 406 727-8733.
- Missouri Headwaters State Park, 1400 South 19th Ave., Bozeman, MT 59792, ☎ +1 406 994-4042.
- Traveler's Rest State Park, Lolo, MT (1/2 mile west of downtown Lolo on Highway 12 West).
- Lolo Pass Visitor's Center, US Highway 12 at the Idaho - Montana Border.
- Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural and Education Center, 200 Main Street, Salmon, ID 83467, ☎ +1 208 756-1188.
- Northwest Passage National Scenic Byway, Lewiston, Idaho.
- Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 Myra Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362, ☎ +1 509 525-7703.
- Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, PO Box 488, Ilwaco, WA 98624, ☎ +1 360 642-3078.
- Sacajawea Interpretive Center, 2503 Sacajawea Park Road, Pasco, WA. 99301, ☎ +1 509 545-2361.