Lewis & Clark
Resorts & Retreats
& Summer Soirees
& Clark Tours The Lewis & Clark Bicentennial
is upon us, and since the Corps of Discovery spent more time in Montana
than any other state (they were men of discerning taste, after all…),
so should you! Seriously, you can gaze over vistas that remain largely
unchanged from two hundred years ago, and in places like the Missouri
Breaks it can be argued that civilization is in full retreat.
If you’re a history buff, which I trust includes most who are looking
at this page, I strongly urge you to read the Lewis & Clark Journals
(most libraries have them). 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 crew 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. Familiarity with their explorations will make following
in their footsteps all the more fascinating, and give you an even greater
appreciation for the obstacles they faced and overcame.
For the full experience we recommend spending some time on the Missouri
River downstream from Fort Benton, then following the Missouri upstream
to its headwaters, touring around Beaverhead Rock, Traveler’s Rest,
Lolo Pass, and other attractions on the overland portion of the route.
We have two very good outfitters offering Lewis & Clark oriented
float trips on the lower Missouri. One has regularly scheduled trips
departing every Monday June-August. These are 3-day, 47 mile trips from
Fort Benton to Judith Landing, and cost $635 (adult rate, inquire
for youth and group rates). They also offer hiking and mountain bike
trips over the Lolo Trail portion of the Corps’ route, as well as raft
trips on the Lochsa, Salmon, and Clark’s Fork rivers west of the Divide.
For further information click here.
The other outfitter specializes in the lower Missouri offerings, and
has a wide variety of possibilities. Their schedule is put together
on a first-come, first-served basis, which obviously affords a higher
degree of flexibility. Even last-minute planners can often join one
of the group trips (14 people max), although we recommend booking early
for exclusive trips for just your group (4-14 people). Prices start
at $35/day for unguided canoe rentals, and single-day guided trips from
Carter to Fort Benton, or Benton to Loma are $90/adult (2-person minimum,
age 9 and under $35). Fully guided and outfitted trips of 3, 4, 5, or
7 days cost $175/day. The three and four-day trips are through the White
Cliffs section of the river, from Coal Banks to Judith Landing. Five-day
trips allow even more time for exploring the White Cliffs section, or
alternatively the lower section of the Missouri Breaks from Judith Landing
to Kipp. The seven-day trips cover the entire 149 mile Wild & Scenic
portion of the river. Expert guides with backgrounds in natural history,
paleontology, botany, and geology will keep you spellbound with stories
and information about this fascinating area, and will provide you with
memories and stories of your own to last a lifetime!
Once you hit the headwaters we have a superb tour guide offering a wide
variety of explorations. Besides being a natural resource biologist
and historian, he has a noteworthy personal connection to the Corps
as his great-great grandfather helped bury Jean Baptiste "Pomp"
Charbonneau (Sacagawea's son, born on the expedition). These tours are
highly customizable, and a few options include;
- Beaverhead Rock to Sacagawea Monument A day trip
exploring the area where the Corps first met with the Shoshone and
obtained the horses so critical to the expedition’s success.
- Beaverhead Rock to Traveler’s Rest & return via the
Big Hole See why the expedition had to cross Lost Tail
Pass instead of floating down the Salmon River, and follow their
route to Traveler’s Rest. The second day retraces Clark’s route
through the Big Hole valley on their return trip in 1806.
- Big Hole Valley to Camp Fortunate Horseback Ride
A 2-day trip along the route Clark and Sacagawea took from their
July 7, 1806 campsite on the Big Hole Divide to Camp Fortunate (they
made that 30 mile trip in one day!) where they had cached the dugouts
for the return trip.
- Lewis & Clark Trail Overlook This one-day
horseback ride begins on the trail Clark and Sacagawea took from
their last encampment back to Camp Fortunate on the return voyage,
and ascends to a high point overlooking the Corps’ route.
These tours can easily be expanded to include other historic sites
such as old mining ghost towns, scenic tours through high mountain areas
with wildflowers, or even a hike where you can see over 200 wild elk
(in a very scenic but not park setting) with their new born calves.
Rates are very affordable, starting at $140/day, with family and group
So what are you waiting for?! Pick up the phone (1-877-613-0404) or
e-mail us and prepare to set out on your own voyage of discovery, and
set your clock ahead to Mountain Time, the best time of your life!