They say that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. That may be true, but with subjects like the Lewis & Clark Expedition, repeating history is a great way to re-learn it. For the first time for many!

In short, The Lewis & Clark Expedition was the effort by the United States to explore the western part of the country that was acquired after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

The trek was led by Captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant William Clark, with a crew of 30 individuals made of civilian volunteers as well as members of the U.S. Army. According to Wikipedia, the expedition started on May 14th, 1804, and lasted until September 23rd, 1806.

Old map with a statue of lewis and clark in front of it.

Celebrating Lewis & Clark in the Pacific Northwest

Most people are not able to truly relive the adventure that the expedition undertook crossing the United States, but for those of us here in the PNW, there are a few key places that we can visit and get in touch with nature and history!

Lewis & Clark in the PNW: Gateway to Hells Canyon

On October 10th, 1805, the expedition entered Washington in Hells Canyon (meeting place of the Snake River and Clearwater River). They traveled down the Snake and Columbia rivers towards their goal of the Pacific Ocean.

Lewis & Clark in the PNW: Patit Creek Campground

You might not be able to camp and spend the night, but you can visit the site where the expedition stayed, just two miles east of Dayton on Patit Road. When you see the metal statue silhouettes commemorating the visit, you'll know the place.

Lewis & Clark in the PNW: Sacagawea State Park

The trail dedicated to the lone woman of the expedition is a beautiful, recreational, and educational trail along the Columbia River shoreline in the Tri-Cities. The Sacajawea Historical State Park (2503 Sacajawea Park Road in Pasco) is a 267-acre day park.

Lewis & Clark in the PNW: Schedule A Tour of Horsethief Lake

In October of 1805, the expedition camped by Horsethief Lake. Today, the Columbia Hills Historical State Park is a place (8514 Lewis and Clark Highway, Lyle, WA) where you can camp and relive history!

Lewis & Clark in the PNW: Beacon Rock

Initially named by Lewis and Clark on October 31st, 1805, you can visit, hike, and camp at this historic landmark!

Lewis & Clark in the PNW: Cottonwood Beach in Washougal, Washington

Once called "Provision Camp," the expedition stayed here at 'Captain William Clark Park' for six days while they gathered supplies. This is a beautiful place to visit, picnic, and spend a lazy day with history.

Lewis & Clark in the PNW: Dismal Nitch (Hungry Harbor)

Don't let the name fool you; today, the place named by Captain Clark as "Dismal Little Nitch" holds excellent views of the Columbia River as the Dismal Nitch Rest Area, located on SR 401, 10 miles south of Naselle, Washington. Take the trail to the actual campsite location.

Lewis & Clark in the PNW: Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center

The Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center is a museum dedicated to Lewis & Clark and the entire history of the Corps of Discovery Expedition. It sits high on top of the cliffs of Cape Disappointment State Park. A great place to end your PNW Lewis & Clark history travels or a tremendous one-stop history lesson!

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