Trails and Treasures Home Page Road Trips Across America 2004
Following the Path of Lewis and Clark
Original by Clark. 1810, Copied by Samuel Lewis 1814. Courtesy of Library of Congress
Lewis and Clark started up the Missouri River, the longest river in the United States, from St. Louis in May 1804. I intersected their path just north of Council Bluffs, Iowa. From the headwaters of the Missouri at Three Forks, Montana, the Corps of Discovery crossed the Rocky Mountains to the Columbia River drainage and the Pacific Ocean. My last stop on the Lewis and Clark Trail was at the Gates of the Mountains, just south of Great Falls, Montana.
My stops in Iowa were: DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, Lewis & Clark SP at Onawa, Sgt Floyd Monument, Sgt Floyd River Museum, and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.
In southeastern South Dakota, I climbed Spirit Mound and visited Vermillion with its National Music Museum and Mitchell with the famous Corn Palace, a wonderful doll museum, and a unique archeological dig--Prehistoric Indian Village.
After a 12-day detour into the Black Hills of South Dakota, I returned to the Missouri River at Mandan, North Dakota where I camped for a night at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. The corps entered North Dakota in mid-October 1804 and wintered at Fort Mandan, near present-day Washburn. My other stops in North Dakota included: the Enchanted Highway, the North Dakota State Capitol, Double Ditch SHS, the North Dakota Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center with its nearby reconstructed Fort Mandan, Cross Ranch SP, Fort Clark Trading Post SHS, Knife River Indian Villages NHS, Ft. Buford SHS, Ft. Union Trading Post NHS, the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers, and Theodore Roosevelt NP.