America's Best History Spotlight

On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area. And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find. You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't. It'll be fun. Visit them.

Lewis and Clark Expedition

Lewis and Clark State Parks, Washington State

There's two of them here, the regular state park named Lewis and Clark plus one focused on the trail. Both parks are replete with the history of exploration, both Lewis and Clark plus the Oregon Trail, and nature to explore beneath old growth canopies of Douglas Fir by foot or horseback. They're a pleasure to camp in and to find out more about the Civilian Conservation Corp plus those long ago explorers with the Indian guide Sacagawea. Image above: 1905 painting by Charles Marion Russell of Lewis and Clark on the Lower Columbia River.

  • Lewis and Clark State Park

    Lewis and Clark State Parks

    Lewis and Clark State Park - Although its namesakes were prevalent explorers through the area, the path they took is actually overtaken here by the old north spur of the Oregon Trail. Pioneers would use that road, but have to build ramps over the downed trees, because they didn't have any saw capable of cutting a six to nine foot diameter log. When the park was started in 1922, it was done so as an auto camp. Within two years more than 10,000 people would visit annually. Today, the State Park is located just east of Route 5 in eastern Washington. There's the Jackson House, the first home built north of the Columbia River in 1845 (no longer there), but replaced by a log cabin built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corp. So it's historic for that reason, too. Photo above: Courtesy Washington State Parks.

    Lewis and Clark Trail State Park - Located further west near the town of Dayton, this park was passed through by the explorers in 1806 and includes part of the Nimipooiskit trail that weaves its way from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Pretty cool to visit its remnants, as well as camp, hike, or fish in a location known for fossils of the large Wooly Mammoth, or Columbian Mammoth, carried in during the Ice Age floods.

  • Lewis and Clark State Parks

    What's There

    Lewis and Clark State Park - Remnants of the Oregon Trail, an amphitheatre, old growth forest of Douglas Fir and Red Cedar, although only 1/3 of it remains after the other 2/3 were blown away in 1962, the Thomas R. Jackson house, Conservation Corps structures, 5 miles of hiking trails, 8 miles of horse trails, Old Growth Forest Exhibit. The park also has more than twenty-five camping sites for tents, rv's, and equestrians. 627 acres.

    Lewis and Clark Trail State Park - Historic Nimipooiskit trail, remnants of homestead sites, 2 miles of hiking trails, amphitheatre, rainbow trout fishing along 1,333 feet of Touchet River shoreline, swimming, baseball and volleyball area, picnic areas. 24 campsites open April to October. 37 acres.

    How Much to Visit

    You must have a Discover pass to visit any Washington State Park, Fishing and Wildlife site, or Department of Natural Resources site. Cost $10 per day, $30 per year.

    Camping fees ranged from $12 (primitive) to $45 (full service) in the peak season May 15 to September 15; Shoulder seasons are slightly less and winter rates from November to March $12 to $30. Rates are subject to change. Check with the specific park for individual differences in rates and seasons when they are open.

    Hours Open

    Lewis and Clark State Park - Open 8 am to May to September. Closed in winter.

    Lewis and Clark Trail State Park - Open year round.

    Where Are They Located

    Lewis and Clark State Park - 4583 Jackson Highway, Winlock, WA 98596. The park is located on Jackson Highway, south off of Route 12 in Southeast Washington.

    Lewis and Clark Trail State Park - 36149 Hwy 12, Dayton WA, 99328-9500. It is located on Route 12 between Dayton and Waitsburg in Southwest Washington.


    Lewis and Clark State Park

    Lewis and Clark Trail State Park

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