The Oregon Coast is a beautiful region with a fascinating past. History buffs will find plenty to explore here, from historic sites to heritage museums. One of our favorite places to visit is the Fort Clatsop National Memorial just south of Astoria. It’s part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park and is a replica of Fort Clatsop, the winter encampment used by Corps of Discovery explorers from December 1805 to March 1806. Here are some of the things you’ll find there.
History of the Fort National Memorial
The journey of Lewis and Clark was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson in the early 1800’s and is one of the most famous expeditions in American history. Jefferson wanted the men to find a route to the western half of the continent and to establish an American presence there before Britain tried to claim it. Lewis and Clark departed from Camp Dubois, Illinois in 1803 and reached Astoria about a year and a half later. Realizing that they needed a suitable shelter for the winter, the men got to work creating Fort Clatsop.
Once complete, Fort Clatsop consisted of two parallel rows of huts with fire pits and bunk beds. Today’s reconstructed fort features handcrafted items that were made with the same types of tools used during the expedition. Special displays including animal skins, dried plants, and bullet-making equipment showcase the fascinating history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Activities, Programs, and Events
Today, the Fort Clatsop National Memorial offers a variety of programs for visitors to enjoy. Follow in the footsteps of the Corps of Discovery as you hike the Fort to Sea Trail and Netul River Trail. Or take a ranger-led Paddle Tour on the Lewis and Clark River. You can even sign up for a guided tour of the memorial where you’ll watch a short film about Fort Clatsop, walk the exhibit, and explore the museum store.
How to Visit Fort Clatsop
One of the best things about visiting Fort Clatsop is that it’s inexpensive! Admission to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park is just $5 for visitors ages 16 and up, and visitors 15 years and younger are free. The Memorial’s hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the summer. Be sure to check their website for more information on fees and passes.
Start Planning Your Trip to the Oregon Coast
After an incredible day at Fort Clatsop, come home to one of our beautiful vacation rentals and unwind! Our homes in Cannon Beach, Arch Cape, Rockaway Beach, and Manzanita are all an easy drive from the Memorial. Many of our properties are just steps from the ocean, and each offers plush furnishings, high-quality linens, and homey touches. So what are you waiting for? Check our availability and book your stay today! We look forward to having you.