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3 Things To Do In The Port Of…Clarkston

8th May 2018

You’ll find the port of Clarkston on some of our Columbia and Snake River cruises. An unfamiliar destination for most UK cruisers who take this trip, it lies close to the Washington and Idaho border and is named in honour of the great William Clark, who journeyed across this part of America along with Meriwether Lewis in the early 1800s. Incidentally, the town of Lewiston stands across the Snake River from Clarkston, in Idaho.

If you are interested in taking a nostalgic paddle steamer cruise through America’s northwest, something which American Cruise Lines and the American Queen Steamboat Company both offer, here are some things to do when you reach Clarkston.

Grab A Drink

Craft Beer

Whether you are a beer drinker or a wine lover, there are some fantastic tipples to try whilst you are in Clarkston, all produced using local passion and ingredients from the Lewis and Clark Valley. If you’re partial to a pint, head to Riverport Brewing Company to sample some of the craft beer they’ve been serving up since 2008. Should you opt for a ‘Blonde Moment’ or an ‘Old Man River Oatmeal Stout’, Riverport claims to show you how beer is meant to taste.

Just up the road, you’ll find Basalt Cellars, where you can swap hops for grapes and taste some award-winning wine. The tasting room here is open Monday to Saturday between 12.30pm and 5.00pm, offering you a warm welcome and a glass that’s more than half-full. Created by Rick Wasem and Lynn DeVleming, the couple has combined years of winemaking expertise and Rick’s pharmaceutical background to produce wines with the customer in mind.

Jet Through Hells Canyon

Hells Canyon

If you’re looking for a thrill during this stop on your river cruise, why not swap your steamboat for a jet boat and experience a really wild ride. This part of the Snake River is known as Hells Canyon and is the deepest river gorge in the USA – even deeper than the Grand Canyon. Companies such as Snake Dancer Excursions and Beamers offer half-day jet boat tours that will help you learn more about the history of Lewis and Clark and the Nez Perce Indians that came before them.

As well as historic petroglyphs and traditional ranches, you will see some of the wildlife that inhabits this vast valley, eroded over thousands of years by the river. Eagles soar overhead and bighorn sheep graze on the banks as you speed past in a cloud of spray.

Learn Of Lewis And Clark

Lewis and Clark

Clarkston is very proud of its history relating to Lewis and Clark, so there are plenty of ways to learn more about these intrepid explorers. On their route to the northwest coast, the two camped overnight on an island near the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers and today a historical marker highlights this spot. You’ll find it atop the levee in Lewiston along with an open-air display showing some of the equipment that would have been used on the expedition.

Other Lewis and Clark sites include the etchings on the sidewalk in Hells Canyon Resort Marina, detailing the timeline of their journey, and the Lewis and Clark Discovery Center, built in Hells Gate State Park to honour the 200th anniversary of the expedition.

If you want to follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark on one of our Columbia and Snake River cruises, call us on 0800 954 0064 or submit an online enquiry by clicking here.

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