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| Next Point > Point 1 of 14

Point 1: Confluence of the Clearwater and Snake rivers, Clarkston
Traveling down the Clearwater River in five dugout canoes, the Lewis and Clark Expedition entered the present-day state of Washington on October 10, 1805, at the confluence of the Clearwater and the Snake River near Clarkston.

The explorers camped at a site on the Snake opposite what is now the Clarkston Golf Course. The campsite itself, along with hundreds of other archeological sites, was flooded by the completion of Lower Granite Dam in 1975. The dam was the last in a series of eight that turned a segment of the Snake and Columbia Rivers into a huge slackwater canal, navigable by ocean-going barges. As a result, Clarkston and its neighboring city, Lewiston, Idaho, have become port cities, some 460 miles from the sea.

The expedition was escorted to the confluence by two Nez Perce men, part of a group that had provided critical aid when the explorers stumbled, exhausted and starving, out of the Bitterroot Mountains in late September, 1805. The Nez Perce had lived, traveled, and hunted in the area for thousands of years; they knew the rivers and trails, as well as how to find food, water, and shelter. They freely shared this knowledge with Lewis and Clark, who later acknowledged the Nez Perce as among the most friendly and helpful of all the Indians they met during their journey.

| Next Point > Point 1 of 14


Confluence of the Clearwater and Snake rivers, 2003
Photo by Glenn Drosendahl


Port of Clarkston, Washington, 2003
Photo by Glenn Drosendahl

 
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