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Lewis and Clark National Historical Park

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park - BEST Places to Picnic

92343 Fort Clatsop Road
Astoria, OR 97103-9197

(503) 861-2471
Visitor Information
(503) 861-2471 ext. 214

WELCOME to Lewis and Clark National Historical Park

The Park is made up of 12 park sites located on a 40-mile stretch of the Pacific coast from Long Beach, WA to Cannon Beach, OR. Visit the sites in any order you wish; we recommend starting at Fort Clatsop or the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment. Both offer rangers, gift shops and exhibits on the region.


The explorers started up the Missouri River from near St. Louis on May 14, 1804. After a tedious journey of five months, they wintered at Fort Mandan, which they built near the Mandan Indian villages 1,600 miles up the Missouri. Here they acquired the interpreting services of Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-Canadian trader, and his young Shoshone wife, Sacagawea, accompanied by their infant son, Jean Baptiste.

In April 1805 the Corps of Discovery left Fort Mandan and followed the Missouri and its upper branches into an unknown world. Along the Lemhi River, in what is now Idaho, Sacagawea�s people provided horses and a guide for the grueling trip over the Continental Divide. In November 1805, after some 600 miles of water travel down the Clearwater, Snake, and Columbia rivers, they finally sighted the Pacific.

Within 10 days of arriving on the coast, Lewis and Clark decided to leave their storm�bound camp on the north shore and cross the river, where elk were reported to be plentiful. Lewis, with a small party, scouted ahead and found a �most eligible� site for winter quarters. 

On December 10, 1805, the men began to build a fort about two miles up the Netul River (now Lewis and Clark River). By Christmas Day they were under shelter. They named the fort for the friendly local Indian tribe, the Clatsop. It would be their home for the next three months.

Picnic Areas

Near the Fort Clatsop Visitor Center
Open All Year
September - mid-June 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Mid-June - Labor Day 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Location Between the two Visitor Center parking lots.
Closures Closed Christmas Day.
Available Facilities Wheelchair accessible picnic area with covered seating, open grass area, and recycling bin. (no fires allowed)

Fort Stevens State Park (OR)
Open All year
Location Warrenton, Oregon
Exhibits Fort Stevens Military Museum and the Battery Russell (historic military area)
Available Facilities Camping, beachcombing, freshwater lake swimming, trails, wildlife viewing, picnic areas, an historic shipwreck and an historic military area make Fort Stevens a uniquely diversified park. A network of nine miles of bicycle trails and six miles of hiking trails allow you to explore the park through spruce and hemlock forests, wetlands, dunes, and shore pine.

Dismal Nitch (WA)
Open All year
Location Highway 401 Pacific County, Washington
Exhibits Interpretative Panels
Available Facilities Restrooms and Picnic Shelters

Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center
In Cape Disappointment State Park (WA)
Summer 10:00 am � 5:00 pm
Winter 10:00 am � 4:00 pm
Location Cape Disappointment State Park (two miles Southwest of Ilwaco, Washington)
Exhibits Mural-Sized �Timeline� Panels of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Maritime and Military Displays
Available Facilities Hiking, Picnic Area, Theater, Gift Shop, Glassed-in Observation Deck, shuttle bus and Restrooms

Discovery Trail (WA)
Open All Year
Location Eight mile trail that runs between Ilwaco, Washington and Long Beach, Washington
Exhibits Clark�s Tree, Basalt Monolith, Gray Whale Skeleton, Clark & Sturgeon Bronze Statue
Available Facilities hiking (8 miles), bicycling (Long Beach end), wildlife viewing platform, beachcombing, ADA accessible (Long Beach end), boardwalks, wetlands, bridges, picnic areas and restrooms

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