Summer Travel along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail: Your Ultimate Guide

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is a 4,900-mile route that follows the path of the famous explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as they journeyed across the western United States. If you’re looking for an exciting summer travel adventure, this historic trail offers stunning scenery, fascinating history, and outdoor recreation opportunities that are perfect for families, couples, and solo travelers alike. In this blog post, we’ll explore the top attractions along the Lewis and Clark Trail and provide tips for planning your trip and making the most of your journey.

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Planning Your Summer Travel along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Before you hit the road, it’s essential to plan your trip carefully to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Determine your route: The Lewis and Clark Trail spans 11 states, so it’s important to decide which portion of the trail you want to explore. Consider how much time you have, what attractions you want to see, and how far you’re willing to travel each day.
  2. Make reservations: Many of the campsites, lodges, and attractions along the trail require reservations, especially during the peak summer travel season. Be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
  3. Respect the environment: The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail passes through many natural areas and important wildlife habitats. Make sure to respect the environment and follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the landscape and wildlife.
  4. Learn about the culture and traditions of the Indigenous people: The trail passes through many areas that were traditionally inhabited by indigenous people, who have a rich culture and history. Take the time to learn about their traditions and customs, and be respectful of their culture and rights.
  5. Follow park regulations: The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is managed by the National Park Service, which has regulations in place to protect the environment and preserve historic sites. Make sure to follow these regulations and be aware of any restrictions or closures before you go.

Top Summer Attractions Along the Lewis and Clark Trail

Now that you’ve planned your trip, it’s time to explore the top attractions along the Lewis and Clark Trail. Here are a few must-see destinations:

  1. Fort Mandan: Located in North Dakota, this reconstructed fort is where Lewis and Clark spent their first winter on the trail. Visitors can tour the fort and learn about the daily life of the expedition.
  2. Great Falls: This series of waterfalls in Montana was a major obstacle for Lewis and Clark. Today, visitors can hike, fish, and explore the nearby Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.
  3. Fort Clatsop: Located in Oregon, this reconstructed fort is where Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1805-1806. Visitors can tour the fort and learn about the challenges the expedition faced on their journey.
  4. Cape Disappointment State Park: This Washington park offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and is home to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, where visitors can learn about the expedition’s arrival at the Pacific.

Top Summer Outdoor Recreation Opportunities along the Trail

In addition to historic attractions, the Lewis and Clark Trail offers a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. Here are a few options:

  1. Hiking: Many sections of the trail offer hiking opportunities, ranging from easy walks to challenging multi-day treks.
  2. Fishing: The trail passes through numerous lakes and rivers, offering excellent fishing opportunities for trout, bass, and more.
  3. Kayaking and Canoeing: The Missouri River and other bodies of water along the trail are perfect for kayaking and canoeing.
  4. Camping: There are numerous campsites along the trail, offering a chance to sleep under the stars and enjoy the great outdoors.

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Top Summer Adventures for Families along the LCNHT

Embarking on a summer road trip with kids along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail promises an exciting and educational journey for the entire family. The trail offers numerous kid-friendly activities that are sure to delight and inspire young adventurers. For example, you can visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls, Montana, which offers interactive exhibits, educational programs, and outdoor trails that are perfect for exploring with kids. You can also stop at Pompeys Pillar, a towering sandstone butte that was named after Sacagawea’s son and features an interpretive center, hiking trails, and stunning views of the Yellowstone River. Another must-see attraction for families is the Missouri Headwaters State Park in Three Forks, Montana, where you can explore the confluence of the Missouri, Jefferson, and Madison rivers, learn about the region’s indigenous history, and enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, and hiking. With its wealth of kid-friendly attractions and scenic beauty, a summer road trip with kids along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is an adventure that your family will never forget.

family fun with fishing, summer along the LCNHT

Why consider the LCNHT trail for your summer travels

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail offers visitors a truly unique and unforgettable experience. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and endless opportunities for adventure, the trail has something to offer everyone. The trail has everything from exploring historic landmarks and learning about the expedition’s remarkable journey to enjoying outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, biking, and fishing. Traveling along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail allows you to connect with the past, experience the beauty of the present, and create memories that will last a lifetime. The LCNHT is a journey that will leave you with a sense of awe and wonder, which you’ll cherish for years to come. 

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Use to plan your summer! is an invaluable resource for anyone planning a trip along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The website provides a wealth of information on what to do and see along the trail, making it easier for travelers to plan their itinerary. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical landmarks, scenic routes, or outdoor recreational activities, the website has you covered. With detailed descriptions, photos, and maps of each attraction, you can make informed decisions about what to see and do on your trip. The website also offers suggestions for lodging, dining, and other services, ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable journey. By using, you can maximize your time along the trail and create unforgettable memories.

So why wait? Start planning your trip today and discover all the wonders that the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail has to offer.