On the Lewis and Clark Expedition Route

From 1804 – 1806 the Lewis and Clark Expedition journeyed over 3,700 miles searching for an all-water route to the Pacific Ocean. What they found instead was a land of breathtaking natural beauty, legendary adventure and friendly Native peoples who helped show them the way.

The 11-state Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail begins at the meeting of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and goes all the way up to the Rocky Mountain. From there the Lewis and Clark expedition route links up with the Clearwater and Snake Rivers, moves west to the mighty Columbia River, and ends at the Pacific Ocean. Along the way are many great sites, adventures, and fun, providing you with unforgettable vacation experiences that will give you a lifetime of fond memories.

Let the adventure of the Lewis and Clark Expedition inspire you to make your own discoveries on your one-of-a-kind Lewis and Clark Trail vacation. If you are looking for a vacation that is both fun and educational for the entire family, check out our Lewis and Clark tours. From self-guided auto tours to landmarks, and unique events, there are plenty of activities to enjoy along this famous expedition route.

Let the spirit of Lewis and Clark inspire you
to make your own discoveries in Lewis and Clark Trail Country.

Great Rivers

Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska

In this region the expedition got underway immediately upon the transfer of the vast territories encompassing the Louisiana Purchase. Here Lewis and Clark tested their boats, skills and men to the challenging rigors of the long journey upriver.

Today you can trace the Lewis and Clark Trail St. Louis, walk in the footsteps of history at Fort Massac and Fort Osage, see open prairies where buffalo still roam in Kansas, and enjoy the good times at colorful riverside communities.

Great Plains

Western Iowa, Eastern Nebraska and Southeastern South Dakota

In this region Lewis and Clark held their first councils with Native American peoples, discovered Prairie Dogs and Antelope, marveled at the abundant fish, wildlife and plant life of the vast Great Plains, and struggled against the natural hazards embedded in the winding currents of the Missouri River.

Today you can see Iowa and Nebraska historical sites and fun-filled river festivals, take in scenic rolling hills and open plains, and meet friendly people, who like you, enjoy the good times and beauty of this vast vacationland.

Rocky Mountains

South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana

In this region the expedition witnessed the spectacle of free roaming herds of buffalo stretching to the horizon, were enchanted by “seens of Visionary enchantment”, portaged over the Great Falls of Montana and met the seemingly insurmountable challenge of the Rocky Mountains.

Take in all the excitement of “Wild West” rodeos, go kayaking and white-water rafting on mountain rivers, lakes and streams, and explore the breathtaking vistas that today are home to Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Theodore Roosevelt National Parks.

Pacific Northwest

Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon

“O! the Joy!” of Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery after they traversed the intimidating Bitterroot Mountains with the help of the Native peoples to ride the swift currents of the Clearwater, Snake and Columbia Rivers until they achieved their goal of finding an inland route to the Pacific Ocean, staking the young nation’s claim as a transcontinental nation stretching “from sea to shining sea.”

Here you can sample the bountiful harvest of the fertile land, take in the sights and sounds of fun-filled festivals, test your skills kayaking, sail boarding or hiking and biking over miles of scenic trails, and experience the golden sunsets of the Pacific Ocean.

Funded and sponsored in part with the support of the National Park Service, the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, and participating federal and state tourism and parks agencies, and county and city tourism bureaus across the 11-state Lewis and Clark National Historical Trail from Illinois to Oregon.

© 2012–2018 The Middle Missouri River Lewis and Clark Network