Built within hiking distance of the Pacific Ocean, Fort Clatsop marks the end of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s historic trek westward. Countless events of historical significance happened here. The park is located where Lewis, Clark and the members of their expedition spent the winter.
This video shows you what you can expect to find at the park, what you need to know to be prepared while visiting and shows a sample of the incredible scenery you’ll see while here. If you don’t have time to watch the whole video, here is a brief summary.
What you can expect to find at Fort Clatsop
- Everywhere you look there are gorgeous views of deep woods, the Columbia River or the Pacific Ocean.
- Because the park receives comparatively few visitors, they work extra hard to give visitors that do come a one-of-a-kind, hands on experience to learn about the park.
Things to do at Fort Clatsop
Explore the Fort
- While the original fort built by the expedition has long since rotted away, a beautiful, impressively accurate replica has been built by the park.
- You can explore the rough-hewn log fort that the men were cooped up in during an exceptionally long, rainy winter – they only saw six days of sunshine in their nearly four month stay!
- If you come during the summer, rangers and volunteers do reenactments of what life at the fort was like and tell the story of the Expedition in a way that makes history come alive!
- The rangers are very friendly, knowledgeable and always take time to answer your questions!
- To access the fort, park at the visitor center. From there, a short, wooded path leads to the fort.
- Make sure to look at the great exhibits in the visitor center. They’ll help you learn all about what life was like for the explorers and Native Americans that lived here!
Hike the thickly wooded trails
- There are miles of beautiful trails starting from the Fort.
- The trails wind through deep forests with fantastical trees…
- Offer stunning views of the Lewis and Clark River
- And one trail even ends at the beautiful Sunset Beach on the Pacific Ocean.
Paddle the Lewis and Clark River
- Most of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s time was spent on rivers, exploring waterways and making their way westward. What better way to explore the park than paddling on the river that bears Lewis and Clark’s name?
- The river is easily accessible by boat at Netul Landing, on the south end of the park.
- During the summer free ranger guided kayaking tours are available, but sign up early! They are very good and fill up very quickly!
When you visit make sure to bring…
- A good rain coat
- A water bottle and snacks if you’re hiking
- A camera for all the amazing sites you’ll see
- And your own kayak or canoe if you’re not going on a ranger guided tour
Maps and great historical displays at the park will help you get around and learn all about the history of the area.
For a quick guide on the best hiking trails at Fort Clatsop, click here!
We hope to see you at historic Fort Clatsop National Park soon!