Lewis and Clark Expedition

  • Also Known As: Corps of Discovery Expedition
  • National Park Service name: Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

From the Plains to the Pacific

Between May 1804 and September 1806, 31 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery. In their search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, they opened a window into the west for the young United States. - NPS


Y/M/D Description Place
1803/08/11 Charles Floyd, a civilian, enlist in the Corps of Discovery. He is the only one of the expedition's "Nine Young Men from Kentucky" who actually was born in Kentucky.
1803/10/26 William Clark shakes hands with his brother George Clark. Corps of Discovery departs for the Pacific Ocean. Old Clarksville Site, Clarksville
1803/11/11 Lewis and Clark arrive at Fort Massac, expecting to gain eight soldiers who had volunteered for the Corps of Discovery at South West Point, Tennessee, but they were not there. The Corps of Discovery departed Fort Massac on November 13th. Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis, IL
1804/05/14 The Expedition, under Clark's command, departs Camp River Dubois on the east side of the Mississippi River and sails up the Missouri River. Sergeant Floyd begins keeping a journal.
1804/06/00 Lewis and Clark expedition camp Fort Osage, Sibley
1804/07/21 The Lewis and Clark Expedition passes the mouth of the Platte River, just north of what is now Main Street in Plattsmouth. Plattsmouth, Nebraska
1804/07/30 William Clark notes that Sergeant Floyd is "verry unwell a bad Cold" etc. Sergeant Floyd Monument, Sioux City
1804/08/20 Quartermaster Sergeant Charles Floyd dies on August 20th. The expedition holds a funeral and buries Floyd on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River, namjng it Floyd's Bluff in his honor. Sergeant Floyd Monument, Sioux City
1804/10/00 Westbound Lewis and Clark expedition makes its way up the Missouri River and reaches the five earthlodge villages of the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes. Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site Archeological District, Stanton
1805/00/00 The Corps, help by the Nez Perce, resupply and carve five canoes in twelve days Canoe Camp, Orofino
1805/07/16 This rock I called the tower. It may be ascended with some difficulty nearly to it's summit and from it there is a most pleasing view of the country we are now about to leave. From it I saw that evening immense herds of buffaloe in the plains below. ML Tower Rock State Park, Montana
1805/07/25 Corps of Discovery reaches the Three Forks of the Missouri Three Forks of the Missouri, Missouri Headwaters State Park
1805/07/30 Corps of Discovery depart Three Forks by floating down the rough and shallow waters of the Jefferson River. Three Forks of the Missouri, Missouri Headwaters State Park
1805/08/08 Sacagawea recognizes Beaverhead Rock as the home of her people, the Shoshones Beaverhead Rock State Park, Montana
1805/08/09 Near Beaverhead Rock - Lewis, Drouillard, John Shields and Hugh McNeal hike to Beaverhead Rock, looking for the Shoshones. Clark and the others headed down river. Beaverhead Rock State Park, Montana
1805/08/12 Lewis Advance Party crosses the Continental Divide through Lemhi Pass Lemhi Pass, Tendoy
1805/08/13 Lewis Advance Party unfurls the Stars and Stripes west of the Continental Divide First Flag Unfurling Site, Lewis and Clark Trail, Tendoy
1805/08/13 William Clark makes a survey Clark's Lookout State Park, Montana
1805/08/26 Corps of Discovery crosses the Continental Divide through Lemhi Pass Lemhi Pass, Tendoy
1805/11/15 Corps of Discovery camp at Chinook Point where they see the Pacific Ocean for the first time Cape Disappointment Historic District, Ilwaco
1805/11/25 Corps of Discovery departs from near Chinook Point and travel to a better location, now known as Fort Clatsop in Astoria, Oregon Cape Disappointment Historic District, Ilwaco
1805/12/00 Corps of Discovery build Fort Clatsop and camp from December 1805 to March 1806. Fort Clatsop National Memorial, Astoria
1806/00/00 Captain William Clark and 12 members of the Corps of Discovery walk to Tillamook Head in search of a beached whale near present-day Cannon Beach. Ecola State Park, Oregon
1806/05/02 we passed the small creek at 8.75 from the commencement of this course and encamped on the N side in a little bottom, having traveled 19 miles today. at this place the road leaves the creek and takes the open high plain. - ML Patit Creek Campsite, Dayton, WA
1806/05/02 I observed considerable quantities of the qua-mash in the bottoms through which we passed this evening now in blume. there is much appearance of beaver and otter along these creeks. saw two deer at a distance, - ML Patit Creek Campsite, Dayton, WA
1806/07/22 Lewis Advance Party at Camp Disappointment from July 22 to July 26, 1806 Camp Disappointment, Browning, MT
1806/11/08 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark arrive at Locust Grove, ending their expedition Locust Grove, Louisville, KY
1807/00/00 Thomas Jefferson creates a museum in the Entrance Hall of the White House, hanging artifacts brought back by Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and Zebulon Pike, that tell about the mysterious west that fascinates the public. The White House, Washington, DC

History »

Preparing for the Journey

Monticello, Charlottesville, VA
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, West Virginia, Virginia, Marlyand
American Philosophical Society Hall, Philadelphia, PA
Big Bone Lick State Park, Union, KY
Old Clarksville Site, Clarksville, Indiana
Fort Massac Site, Metropolis, Illinois

The Expedition


Old Cahokia Courthouse, Cahokia


Jefferson National Expansion Memorial National Historic Site, St Louis
St Charles Historic District, St Louis
Tavern Cave, St Albans
Rocheport Historic District, Rocheport
Arrow Rock, Saline County
Fort Osage, Sibley


Leary Site, Rulo
Fort Atkinson, Fort Calhoun
Sergeant Floyd Monument, Sioux City


Spirit Mound, Vermillion


Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, Stanton
Big Hidatsa Village Site, Stanton
Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Williston


Lewis and Clark Camp at Slaughter River, Missouri River
Great Falls Portage, Great Falls
Tower Rock, Cascade
Three Forks of the Missouri, Three Forks
Beaverhead Rock-Lewis and Clark Expedition, Dillon
Lemhi Pass, (also in Idaho)
Clark's Lookout, August 13, 1805, Dillon
Traveler's Rest, Lolo
Lolo Trail (also in Idaho), Lolo
Nez Perce National Historical Park (also in Idaho), Wisdom
Pompey's Pillar (return trip), Yellowstone River
Camp Disappointment (return trip), Browning
Two Medicine Fight Site (return trip), Cut Bank


Lemhi Pass (also in Montana)
Lolo Trail (also in Montana), Weippe Prairie
Weippe Prairie, Spalding
Nez Perce National Historical Park (also in Montana), Spalding


Rock Fort Campsite, The Dalles
Fort Clatsop National Memorial (winter of 1805), Astoria


Cape Disappointment Historic District, Ilwaco
Chinook Point, Chinook
Lewis & Clark Trail--Travois Road, Pataha Creek

After The Expedition

Locust Grove, Louisville, Kentucky
Natchez Trace Parkway, Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi. - NPS

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