Fort Clatsop, on the banks of the Lewis and Clark River, was the winter
encampment for The Corps of Discovery from December 1805 to March 1806.
During this time the Clatsop and Chinook Indians, whom Clark described
as close bargainers, came to the fort almost daily to visit and trade.
Captains Lewis and Clark maintained a strict military routine. A sentinel
was constantly posted, and at sundown each day the fort was cleared
of visitors and the gates locked for the night.
Due to the rain, the men not consigned to hunting or saltmaking often
stayed indoors engaged in variety of tasks, from servicing their weapons
and preparing elk hide clothing for the homeward journey to making elk
fat candles as light for journal writing. The captains used the winter
encampment to bring their journals up to date, making copious notes
on the trees, plants, fish and wildlife around Fort Clatsop. Clark,
the cartographer of the party, spent most of his time refining and updating
maps of the entire country through which they had traveled.
Today you will also find a replica of Fort Clatsop, National Park Service
Rangers dressed as re-enactors in the fort, other Ranger lead programs,
an exhibit hall and a (new!) orientation film. You will also find the
trailheads for the Fort To Sea Trail and Netul River Trail. The Fort
To Sea Trail is a 6.5 mile trail that runs from Fort Clatsop to Sunset
Beach. The Netul River Trail is a 1.5 mile trail that runs from the
Visitor Center at Fort Clatsop to Netul Landing.
Fort Clatsop and Sunset Beach, Oregon
Like the Corps of Discovery, come and explore the land that was the home of
the Clatsop Indians. The Fort To Sea Trail is a 6.5 mile trail that runs
from Fort Clatsop to Sunset Beach on the Pacific Ocean. While wintering over
at Fort Clatsop, Captains Lewis and Clark constantly kept parties in the
field hunting, gathering food, making salt and trading with the Indians.
You too can explore the forests, travel along the coastal rivers and lakes,
and traverse the coastal dunes. If you look close, along the way you may
see signs of the abundant wildlife like elk, deer, eagle or even bear, bobcat
The Fort To Sea Trail starts from the Visitor Center at Fort Clatsop.
For the summer of 2005 the first 2 miles of trail will be completed.
You can hike up a gentle 350 foot climb to the top of Clatsop Ridge,
where on a clear day you can see through the trees to the Pacific Ocean.
Round trip distance is 4 miles. A short ½ mile loop immediately
adjacent to the Visitor Center also starts from the same trailhead.
At Sunset Beach the Fort To Sea Trail parking lot will be open for
the summer of 2005 with a gentle 1 mile trail that winds through the
dunes and along small lakes.
By the fall of 2005 the entire trail will be complete. Join Oregon
Governor Kulongoski, members of the Corps of Discovery, National Park
and Oregon State Park Rangers for the Fort To Sea Trail Dedication on
Monday, November 14th. Hike with the Corps from Fort Clatsop, leaving
at 8 AM, or come to the dedication at Sunset Beach at Noon.
To Fort Clatsop: From Astoria head south on Hwy 101. From Seaside head north
on Hwy 101. From Hwy 101 follow the signs to Fort Clatsop. The trail starts
at the park’s visitor center.
To Sunset Beach: Between milepost 13 and 14 on Hwy 101 (south of Astoria and
north of Seaside) turn onto Sunset Beach Lane. Drive to the Sunset Beach/Fort
To Sea Trailhead parking lot.
Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
Fees: none for the trail. $3 per person for the visitor center and Fort Clatsop.
Netul River Trail
Fort Clatsop, Oregon
The Corps of Discovery arrived at the site where they built Fort Clatsop by
paddling up the Netul River. By the fall of 2005 you will be able to see
the same landmarks as you take a gentle 1.5 mile walk along what is now called
the Lewis and Clark River. A new trail will open that will connect the Visitor
Center at Fort Clatsop with the nearby Netul Landing. Also, at Netul Landing
is a kayak/canoe launch that is part of the Lower Columbia River Water Trail.
Bring your non-motorized boat or sign up for a guided trip through Columbia
River Kayaking at (360) 795-0895 or visit www.columbiariverkayaking.com).
Netul Landing also offers views of wildlife like eagles and river otter and
you can visit the life sized bronze statue of Sacagawea too!
From Astoria head south on Hwy 101. From Seaside head north on Hwy 101.
From Hwy 101 follow the signs to Fort Clatsop. Drive 1.5 miles past the entrance
to Fort Clatsop to Netul Landing.
Lewis and Clark National Park