For further (and more recent) Lewis & Clark
Tour information, click here.
Raft and canoe trips on the wild & scenic upper Missouri
have long been popular, but with the upcoming bicentennial of
the Lewis & Clark expedition, they're attracting even more
attention than ever. We're thrilled to be working with
an outfitter than not only provides the Missouri River trips,
but offers a much broader spectrum of experiences along the
Lewis & Clark trail, including hike and mountain bike trips
along the Lolo Trail portion of their route, as well as raft
trips down the Lochsa River, which the Corps of Discovery followed
after crossing the continental divide on their way to the Pacific.
I've long been fascinated by the Lewis & Clark expedition,
and have read and re-read their journals, which I highly recommend.
In some ways, particularly given the technology of their age,
I think the Corps of Discovery's feats are more impressive than
modern accomplishments like space travel. Lewis &
Clark and their men didn't have an army of technicians backing
them up. They were out there on their own for most of
two years, and repeatedly made the right decisions in circumstances
when making the wrong ones would have likely meant they would
have vanished without a trace. It's fascinating to travel
in their footsteps, and in some areas the sights you'll see
have remained virtually unchanged since 1805.
The area that remains the most unchanged is the White Cliffs
section of the upper Missouri. Lewis described this section
as follows; "The hills and river cliffs which we passed today exhibit a most romantic appearance...Here
it is that nature presents to the view of the traveler vast
ranges of walls of tolerable workmanship, so perfect indeed
are those walls that I should have thought that nature had attempted
here to rival the human art of masonry had I not recollected
that she had first began her work...As we passed on it seemed
as if those seens of visianory inchantment would never have
an end." Three-day canoe trips through this section
cover 47 miles of the most scenic section of the river, and
you'll camp in the same places Lewis & Clark did.
The hiking and mountain bike tours take place on the Lolo Trail
west of Missoula. Parts of this route were the only overland section
of Lewis & Clark's entire trip that did not parallel a waterway.
Day trips combine van tours and hiking, and explore expedition
campsites like Snowbank Camp, Sinque Hole, Smoking Place, and
scenic, unique attractions such as Indian Post Office and Devil's
Chair. Three-day trips expand the hiking portion of the
trip and include overnight camping at Snowbank Camp and near
Dry Camp, and a side trip to Spirit Revival Ridge (where the
Corps first saw Weippe Prairie, in what would later become Idaho)
is added to the van tour portion.
This outfitter also offers a most unique active tour, following
the Lewis & Clark Trail by mountain bike. On this
three-day trip, you'll see first-hand the explorer's route through the Bitterroot
Mountains. Around the campfire during the two nights
of camping, you'll hear stories of Lewis & Clark's adventures
in the untamed mountains of the west. A support vehicle carries
all the gear, and the terrain consists of roughly 20% hilly,
20% flat, 30% rolling & 30% downhill. Mountain bike
rentals are available.
Then, if you want to continue along Lewis & Clark's route
to & from the Pacific, you can spend a day rafting the Lochsa
River, which the Corps followed on their way to the Snake River,
and eventually the Columbia
River and the Pacific. Outside Magazine
claims the Lochsa is "one of the country's quintessential
whitewater runs." Over twenty miles of heart-pumping
rapids, old growth cedar groves, and pristine wilderness will
leave you feeling blessed. During peak runoff, you'll
be floating 37 Class III , 25 Class IV, and two Class V rapids,
which will certainly peg your adventure meter.
This outfitter also offers exceptional whitewater raft trips
through Alberton Gorge on the Clark Fork River, and multi-day
trips on the Main Salmon River through the Frank Church-River
of No Return Wilderness.
1-877-613-0404 or e-mail for details.