LEWIS AND CLARK TRAIL STATE PARK
Lewis and Clark Trail State Park is a 37-acre camping park with 1,333 feet of freshwater shoreline on the Touchet River. The park is a rare treasure of old-growth forest and river in the midst of the surrounding arid grassland.
"Long-leafed" ponderosa pine still grow here, as Lewis and Clark recorded in their journals. The ponderosa are old-growth trees, as are the cottonwood that abound in the park.
Periodic flooding gives the park its marked riparian character. Flooding lays down sediment and slows competition from weedy species, allowing the unusual vegetation of pine trees in the midst of arid grassland.
Another contributing influence to the existence of the pines is the park's very wet, almost "rainforest" mini-climate. The narrow piece of Touchet River valley, on which the park is built, constricts airflow and causes moisture to remain in the park.
The park is located on the historic Nez Perce trail that extends from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Remnants of the trail can be observed near the park.
The explorers Lewis & Clark (for whom the park is named) passed through the property in 1806 and commented on the unusual character of the vegetation.
The park was originally homesteaded by the Bateman family in 1864 and was the site for neighboring farmers' post-harvest picnics and games. Homesteading began in the region in 1859. Some of the original homestead sites still remain.
Woolly mammoth fossils have been found near the park. The woolly mammoth fossil is the official fossil of Washington state.
In 1996, catastrophic flooding occurred, laying down a million cubic feet of sediment in the park. Two additional major floods happened within the year. Periodic flooding is characteristic of riparian (river-related) terrain, and gives the park its distinctive character.
The day-use-area restroom was constructed in 1934 from 10,000 stones acquired from theTouchet River. The day-use-area kitchen shelter was also built in the 1930s and exhibits features of that period.
Camping Fees : Please note that the following general fee information is not customized for each individual park, so not all fees will apply to all parks (for example, primitive campsite and dump station fees listed apply only to parks that have primitive campsites and dump stations).
Standard campsite, $15.
Utility campsite, $21.
Primitive campsite (accessible by motorized/non-motorized vehicles) and for water trail camping, $10
An additional $3 fee (standard) or $5 fee (utility) may be charged for select premium campsites at some parks.
Maximum eight people per campsite.
Second vehicle: $10 per night is charged for a second vehicle unless it is towed by a recreational vehicle. Extra vehicles must be parked in designated campsite or extra vehicle parking spaces.
Dump stations (if available): Year-round dump station fees are $5 per use. If you are camping, this fee is included in your campsite fee.
More about park hours : Check-in time is 2:30 p.m., and check-out time is 1 p.m.Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Length of stay: you may stay up to ten consecutive days in any one park during the summer; the stay limit is extended to 20 days between Oct. 1 and March 31. Campsite Information : The park has 24 standard sites, which will fit RVs, available April 1 to Sept. 15. From Sept. 16 until March 30, the standard campsites are closed, but 17 primitive campsites are open in the day-use area. Maximum site length is 28 feet (may have limited availability).
Camping is available year-round and is first-come, first-served. Self-registration is in effect, so please have the correct amount of money ready.
The park provides three restrooms, two showers and one dump station
Group Accommodations : The park provides two group camps that accommodate approximately 100 people each or 10 RVs each. No hookups are available. Fees vary with size of the group. To reserve, call the park office at (509) 337-6457.