The land bridge is a real link connecting back to the Klickitat Trail, Lewis and Clark, and the development of the Northwest. It completes a circle that’s been broken. -Johnpaul Jones
European and Native American cultures once converged at this Columbia River site, where the Hudson’s Bay Company stood as the first European trading post in the Pacific Northwest. Lewis and Clark camped here, and Fort Vancouver was built here 20 years later. Today, the site features an earth-covered pedestrian bridge that arcs over State Route 14, reconnecting historic Fort Vancouver with the Columbia River, which helped extend the fort’s influence from Mexico to Alaska and across the Pacific Ocean.
Learn about the site’s indigenous plants as you walk along the land bridge, which leads you up to a grand view of the river and the surrounding mountains. From the south, walk under the land bridge’s Welcome Gate, designed by Native American artist Lillian Pitt. Two cedar canoe panels, each adorned with a cast-glass sculpture of a Chinook woman’s face, evoke the site’s role as a historic tribal crossroads as well as a point of contact between European and Native people.
Getting There: There are two entrances to the Land Bridge in Vancouver, WA. The south entrance is on Columbia Way Blvd. at Old Apple Tree Park. From I-5, take Highway 14 east and take Exit 1 for SE Columbia Way toward Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Keep right, follow signs for S/Southeast Columbia Way. Turn right and drive west to the sign for Old Apple Tree Park. Park and walk under the overpass to the welcome gate of the Land Bridge.
The north entrance to the Land Bridge is just west of Fort Vancouver. From I-5, take Mill Plain Blvd east. Turn right at Fort Vancouver Way. Stay on Fort Vancouver Way through the round about and turn left on East 5th Street. The path to the Land Bridge will be on your right.