Road Scholar : Home
On the Road: Following In the Footsteps of Lewis & Clark from Missouri to Oregon

Program Number: 4002RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/28/2013 - 8/14/2013; 6/19/2016 - 7/6/2016; 9/11/2016 - 9/28/2016; 9/18/2016 - 10/5/2016;
Duration: 17 nights
Location: St. Charles, Missouri
Price starting at: $3,298.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: On the Road Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 49; 17 Breakfasts, 16 Lunches, 16 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark as you cross seven states and overnight in 15 cities on a fascinating journey of discovery. Beginning in St. Louis, Mo., go west as an onboard historian helps you bring the story to life traveling the waters, navigating the mountains and trekking the lands as Lewis and Clark did — tracing the final difficult miles along the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean.


• Historic sites, artifacts, lectures and living-history presentations bring this epic story to life.
• Examine a full-size replica of the party’s keelboat and study the relationships between the explorers and Native Americans.
• Cross the Bitteroot Mountains and see the camp where the expedition built five canoes.

Activity Particulars

Walking over varied terrain. Must be able to get on and off motorcoach an average of 5 times a day. Not all hotels have elevators or ground-floor rooms. Must carry own luggage.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival St. Charles, Mo., 2 nights; Independence, 1 night; Council Bluffs, Iowa, 1 night; Yankton, S.D., 1 night; Pierre, 1 night; Bismarck, N.D., 1 night; Medora, 1 night; Billings, Mont., 1 night; Helena, 1 night; Great Falls, 2 nights; Missoula, 1 night; Lewiston, Idaho, 1 night; Hood River, Ore, 1 night; Astoria, 1 night; Portland, 1 night; departure.

Coordinated by Road Scholar.

St. Charles

More than 200 years ago, Lewis and Clark departed from the banks of this Missouri River town just west of St. Louis to begin their westward expedition. Missouri’s first state capital was a destination for traders, pioneers, explorers and Native Americans, a heritage preserved in the city’s historic districts.


The rolling hills and freeflowing springs of this area’s countryside attracted Native Americans, missionaries, pioneers and merchants for centuries, and today, people come seeking this panorama of American history, including the library, home and museum of President Harry S. Truman and the National Frontier Trails Center.

Council Bluffs

Once on the leading edge of westward expansion, the Council Bluffs area has a rich heritage as the convergence point of the Lewis and Clark, California, Mormon, and Oregon trails. Still a crossroads of the nation's heartland, this Missouri River town is also well known for the scenic Loess Hills.


Despite a year-round population of 112, Medora, N.D., swells in the summer as a premier family entertainment destination. Renowned for its lively nightly musical, Medora pays homage to Theodore Roosevelt, who lived in the area for 18 years before he became the youngest president in U.S. history at age 42.

Great Falls

The Missouri River city of Great Falls, an eastern gateway to Glacier Park and just a four hour drive from Yellowstone, is rich in the state’s natural and historic resources. An important stop for the Corp of Discovery, the city now hosts the impressive Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

The Dalles

The Dalles, just 84 miles east of Portland in the spectacular Columbia River Gorge, has long been an important hub in the exploration and history of Oregon. It was an important location on the Oregon Trail and a prominent Native American gathering place. Both agriculture and recreation bring people to the area today.


Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River near the Pacific Ocean, is the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies and a significant historic region at the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail. Victorian homes overlook the town and waterfront.

Portland (Oregon)

Portlanders live a life rich in the arts, surrounded by natural beauty and conveniently situated near the Pacific Coast and Columbia River Gorge. The City of Roses is a walker's paradise filled with parks, fountains and unique neighborhoods.

Comfortable motels and hotels.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Tom Laidlaw

Tom Laidlaw hails from Vancouver where he has been a historical interpreter at Fort Vancouver for many years. He has traveled extensively across the U.S. on the Oregon Trail, the Santa Fe Trail and the Lewis and Clark Trail. Tom holds a B.S. in theatre arts from Portland State University, and utilizes his acting talent to tell stories of Westward Expansion. His one-person character sketches of historic characters have delighted school audiences and organizations throughout Oregon and Washington.
Ritchie Doyle

Ritchie Doyle is a humanities scholar, writer, interpretive leader and actor who has portrayed William Clark since 1996. He has been a member of the Montana Committee for the Humanities Speakers bureau since 1993, and has presented William Clark nearly 200 times. Ritchie is president of the Camp Creek Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation and a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation.
Deb Crank Lewis

Deb Crank Lewis is a long time professor at St. Charles Community College, teaching U.S. history, Western civilization, non-Western civilization, and Missouri history. She has been a part of our Road Scholar program since 1992, and was a guest lecturer at our gala 30th anniversary celebration. In 2004, she also spoke at the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Signature Event in the tent of many voices. In 2007, she was invited by the U. S. Army to attend the dedication of the Lewis and Clark Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Meals and Lodgings
   Country Inn & Suites
  St. Charles, MO 2 nights
   Higher Ground Hotel
  Independence, MO 1 night
   Comfort Suites
  Council Bluffs, IA 1 night
   Best Western Kelly Inn- Yankton, SD
  Yankton, SD 1 night
   ClubHouse Hotel & Suites
  Pierre, SD 1 night
   Comfort Inn Bismarck
  Bismarck, ND 1 night
   Rough Riders Hotel
  Medora, ND 1 night
   Best Western Clocktower Inn
  Billings, MT 1 night
   Jorgenson's Inn and Suites
  Helena, MT 1 night
   Townhouse Inn
  Great Falls, MT 2 nights
   Ruby's Inn
  Missoula, MT 1 night
   Red Lion Inn
  Lewiston, ID 1 night
   Best Western Plus Hood River Inn
  Hood River, OR 1 night
   Holiday Inn Express (Astoria, OR)
  Astoria, OR 1 night
   Clarion Hotel- Portland International Airport
  Portland, OR 1 night
 Country Inn & Suites
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Situated on Main Street in the historic area of St. Charles with its sidewalks lined with real brick streets. Main Street has long been the hub of commercial activity for St. Charles and boasts a bevy of shops, restaurants and businesses.
  Contact info: 1190 South Main Street
St. Charles, MO  63301 USA
phone: 636-724-5555
  Room amenities: Each room features complimentary high-speed Internet access, a 39'' flat screen TV, a data port, a microwave, a refrigerator, a hairdryer, large work space with desk, iron/ironing board, and in-room coffee maker.
  Facility amenities: Featuring 86 spacious guest rooms, the Country Inn & Suites St. Charles provides guests with complimentary high-speed Internet access, Fitness Center, Business Center, heated indoor pool and whirlpool as well as a daily breakfast buffet. Additional amenities include valet laundry service, on-site parking and a USA Today newspaper on weekdays.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call hotel for best rate Please identify yourself as a Road Scholar participant.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Higher Ground Hotel
Type: Inn
  Contact info: 200 North Delaware
Independence,, MO 64050 USA
phone: 816-836-0292
  Room amenities: TV, Private Bath.
  Facility amenities: Laundry facilities, elevator, vending area, and outdoor smoking area.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Comfort Suites
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: 1801 S. 35th St.
Council Bluffs, IA 51503 USA
phone: 712-323-9760
  Room amenities: TV, Iron/Ironing Board, Microwave, Refrigerator, Air Conditioning.
  Facility amenities: Computer Hookup, Exercise Room, Continental Breakfast, Free Newspaper, Fax Machine, Laundry Facilities, Indoor Pool, Whirlpool/hot tub.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Best Western Kelly Inn- Yankton, SD
Type: Inn
  Contact info: 1607 E. Hwy 50
Yankton, SD 57078 USA
phone: 650-665-2906
  Room amenities: All rooms have a airdryer, iron and ironing board, and coffeemaker. Some rooms also have a microwave and refrigerator.
  Facility amenities: Fitness center, indoor pool, whirl pool, guest laundry facilities, restaurant, lounge, free high speed internet, and a computer and printer in lobby for guest use.
  Smoking allowed: No

 ClubHouse Hotel & Suites
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: 808 West Sioux Ave
Pierre, SD 57501 USA
phone: 605-494-2582
  Room amenities: All of the 79 guestrooms and suites (all non-smoking) are decorated in an elegant style with a contemporary twist – rich textures of black, bronze, brown, creme, and reds accentuate hardwood and leather furniture pieces and contemporary lighting fixtures. The bathrooms feature striking stone tile flooring and showers with granite countertops. Rooms include Beauty Rest by Simon pillow-top mattresses with triple sheeting, microwave and refrigerator, in-room coffeemaker with complimentary coffee, ergonomic desk chair, blackout drapes and bedtime beats for the perfect night's sleep, iron and full-size ironing boards, hairdryers, alarm clocks with iPod/Phone capabilities, HD flat-screen TV with free HBO, complimentary high-speed Internet.
  Facility amenities: The Clubhouse Hotel & Suites features complimentary wireless internet throughout hotel; 24-hour fitness center featuring treadmills, elliptical machines, and bicycles with personal TVs, free weights, yoga mats, and a large whirlpool; 24-hour business center; Indoor water playland, pool, and whirlpool; bicycles available for guests to ride along the bike path; market area, coin laundry, and valet laundry service (Monday - Friday).
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Comfort Inn Bismarck
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: 1030 East Interstate Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58501 USA
phone: 701-223-1911
  Room amenities: Guest rooms feature free high-speed Internet access; coffee maker; hair dryer; iron; ironing board; cable television.
  Facility amenities: Hotel is within walking distance of Gateway Mall. Amenities include: indoor heated pool, indoor whirlpool / hot tub, exercise room, game room, deluxe continental breakfast, happy hour, lounge and casino.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Rough Riders Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: This charming, historic hotel is newly renovated and currently under expansion.
  Contact info: 301 3rd Ave
Medora, ND 58645 USA
phone: 701-623-4444
  Smoking allowed: No

 Best Western Clocktower Inn
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Best Western Clocktower Inn is located in the center of historic Billings.
  Contact info: 2511 1st Avenue North
Billings, MT 59101 USA
phone: 800-628-9081
  Room amenities: Cable TV, dial-up internet access, voicemail, hairdryer, coffee/tea maker, and iron/ironing board.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant which serves breakfast and lunch, an outdoor swimming pool, dry sauna, and fitness room, plus a small gift shop.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Jorgenson's Inn and Suites
Type: Motel
  Description: Six blocks from State Capitol and Montana Historical Society.
  Contact info: 1714 11th Ave.
Helena, MT 59601 USA
phone: 800-272-1770
  Room amenities: Free local newspaper, free Wi-Fi, LCD TV with cable and movie channels, a coffeemaker, air conditioning, iron and ironing board, a refrigerator and microwave.
  Facility amenities: A business center with a fax machine, copier, and computers with internet access; complimentary access to Capital City Health Club with three pools and full fitness facilities; and guest laundry.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Townhouse Inn
Type: Inn
  Contact info: 1411 10th Avenue S.
Great Falls, MT 59405 USA
phone: 406-761-4600
  Room amenities: Complimentary in-room coffee and tea, 32" flat screen TV with cable, DVD players available, internet access, microwave, refrigerator, wake-up calls, turndown service
  Facility amenities: Casino and poker room, indoor heated pool, hot tub, sauna, ATM, business center, free deluxe continental breakfast, fresh baked cookies every evening, free newspapers in lobby, game room, gift shop, guest laundry facilities, courtesy shuttle service, and free parking.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Ruby's Inn
Type: Inn
  Contact info: 4825 N Reserve
Missoula, MT 59808 USA
phone: 406-541-7829
  Room amenities: 32" HD flat screen TV, expanded basic cable with premium movie channels, coffeemaker, and iron and ironing board.
  Facility amenities: Hot breakfast, 24-hour airport shuttle, BBQ and Horseshoes along Grant Creek, outdoor hot tub, outdoor heated pool, picnic area, fitness center, computer available in lobby for guest use, free wireless internet, fax and copy services, and guest laundry.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Red Lion Inn
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: 621 21st Street
Lewiston, ID 83501 USA
phone: 208-799-1000
  Room amenities: Complimentary wireless internet.
  Facility amenities: Outdoor pool and hot tub, an indoor pool, hot tub, and sauna, free parking, a restaurant, MJBarleyhoppers Bar & Grill featuring home-made microbrews.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Best Western Plus Hood River Inn
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: 1108 E. Marina Way
Hood River, OR 97031 USA
phone: 541-386-2200
  Room amenities: Refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, cable TV, iron/ironing board, and hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Fitness room, outdoor heated pool and spa, indoor spa, dry rock sauna, and riverside walk.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Holiday Inn Express (Astoria, OR)
Type: Hotel
  Description: Riverfront lodging. Most rooms offer a magnificent panoramic view of the mighty Columbia River and a warm, cozy fireplace.
  Contact info: 204 W Marine Dr.
Astoria, OR 97103 USA
phone: 503-325-6222
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, refrigerator and microwave, data port, ironing board and iron, coffeemaker, hair dryer, & remote TV/DVD player.
  Facility amenities: Indoor heated pool and whirlpool, high speed Internet access, exercise room, game room, guest laundry and gift shop.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Clarion Hotel- Portland International Airport
Type: Hotel
  Description: Hotel is perched along Lake Mayes near the Columbia River, offering bird-watching pleasures as well as ready access to downtown Portland, 10 miles away. Walking path nearby.
  Contact info: 11518 NE Glenn Widing Drive
Portland, OR 97220 USA
phone: 503-252-2222
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, cable/satellite, TV, refrigerator, coffee/tea maker, hair dryer, microwave, high speed Internet access, clock radio and iron/ironing board.
  Facility amenities: Indoor heated pool, hot tub, exercise room, business center, on-site guest laundry, meeting rooms and complimentary airport shuttle. Hotel is handicap accessible.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Call hotel directly The hotel offers a special rate for participants, based upon availability. Make reservations by calling 503-252-2222 for early arrivals or stay-overs. Be sure to mention you are with the Road Scholar group.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check in and program registration is between 3:00 and 4:00 PM. Program orientation begins at 4:00 PM, followed by dinner at 5:30 PM. You will be staying at Country Inn & Suites that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast (available from 6:00 - 9:00 AM). Hotel check out by 12:00 PM. You will be staying at Clarion Hotel- Portland International Airport the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Bring your America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass - Senior Pass (or Golden Age Passport as it was formerly known) if you have one.
  Parking availability:
If leaving a car at the start of the program, we suggest parking at the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Rates begin at $7.00 a day. Visit for additional information.
To Start of Program
  Location:  St. Charles, MO
  Nearest airport:  St Louis, MO
  From End of Program
  Location:  Portland, OR
  Nearest highway: I-84 and I-5
  Nearest airport:  Portland International Airport (PDX)
Travel Details

St. Louis International Airport Country Inn & Suites


From Airport




Yellow Cab of St. Charles
phone: 636-724-1234
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$20 Prices are subject to change.
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


25 minutes 


The Country Inn & Suites in St. Charles has a special agreement with Yellow Cab of St. Charles for this special rate.


Clarion Hotel to Portland International Airport (PDX)


To Airport




Hotel Shuttle
Clarion Hotel
phone: 503-252-2222


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Minutes from the airport 


The Clarion Hotel offers a complimentary airport shuttle. While the shuttle runs on a schedule, the hotel will need to know that you are heading to the airport. Make arrangements at the front desk.


Portland- Clarion Hotel


To Train Station






Per Person/One Way:


$35 - $40
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Approximately 20 minutes. Could vary due to traffic. 


A taxi would cost approximately $35 - $40 from the hotel to either the bus or train station. Radio Cab: 503-227-1212, Broadway Cab: 503-227-1234 or Green Cab: 503-234-1414.


Portland- Clarion Hotel


To Train Station




Public Transportation
phone: 503-238-7433


Per Person/One Way:


$2.50 adult ticket, $1.00 honored citizens (65+)
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


43 minutes (including 5 minutes walking and 4 minutes waiting) 


Take the hotel shuttle to Portland International Airport. Walk to the MAX platform. Board the MAX Red Line towards Beaverton Transit Center. Exit train at Gateway/NE 99th Ave TC MAX Station Board MAX Green Line to City Center/PSU Exit train at Union Station/NW 5th & Glisan St MAX Station. Walk 0.2 mile northwest to Union Station Amtrak Depot (800 NW 6th Ave).

Driving Directions
  Country Inn & Suites (St. Charles, MO) From St. Louis Lambert International Airport Travel Interstate 70 west Take 5th Street exit 229 B Turn Right off the exit onto S. 5th St Turn Right (East) onto Ameristar Blvd Turn LEFT (North) onto S Main St
Elevation Note: The highest elevation participants will experience is about 5,500 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Sturdy, comfortable hiking shoes. Bring binoculars if you want to.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: St. Charles, MO
(Sunday, July 28)
 Afternoon: Arrivals and Program registration between 3:00 and 4:00 PM, followed by welcome and orientation session beginning at 4:00 PM.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
 Evening: Free time to explore the local surroundings or relax.
Accommodations: Country Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: St. Charles/St. Louis, MO
(Monday, July 29)
 Breakfast: Bacon, sausage, ham, eggs, cold and hot cereal, waffles, pastries, yogurt, fresh fruit, coffee, tea and juice
 Morning: Travel to the Confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, an area near Lewis & Clark's winter camp of 1803-1804 where they wintered at "a Small river opposite the Mouth of Missouri Called wood River, where they formed their party, Composed of robust Young Backwoodsmen of Character." From here we will travel to St. Louis to view some of the rarest artifacts of the Lewis and Clark journey at the Museum of Westward Expansion. Ascend to the top of the nation's tallest monument, the Gateway Arch, representing the Gateway to the West.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Winery of the Little Hills in the heart of St. Charles historic district.
 Afternoon: Visit the Lewis and Clark Boathouse and Nature Center. This educational facility features exhibits relating to the Lewis and Clark expedition as well as the Missouri River ecosystem. Then, continue your explorations of St. Charles.
 Dinner: Dinner on the St. Charles Community College Campus
 Evening: In this evening's presentation, "Setting the Stage: The Louisiana Purchase," learn about America's purchase of the vast French-controlled lands that would soon be explored by Lewis and Clark.
Accommodations: Country Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: St. Charles, MO to Independence, MO
(Tuesday, July 30)
 Breakfast: Bacon, sausage, ham, eggs, cold and hot cereal, waffles, pastries, yogurt, fresh fruit, coffee, tea and juice
 Morning: Arrive at Arrow Rock State Historic Site Visitor Center to explore its exhibits of area history, including early Osage and Missouri tribal settlements, French and Spanish exploration, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Corps of Discovery. Then, venture to Lewis and Clark Overlook for a view of the Missouri River and the salt licks noted by the expedition.
 Lunch: Enjoy a box lunch at a scenic picnic area near the Lewis and Clark Overlook with presentation on "Lewis & Clark in the Arrow Rock Area"
 Afternoon: Explore Truman Presidential Museum & Library, home to the archives of Harry S. Truman, thirty-third president of the United States. Then, venture to Ft. Osage Visitor Center and Museum to peruse its Lewis and Clark exhibits and view a film on the historic expedition.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Tonight's lecture is "Trappers and the Fur Trade." Learn all about the doughty men who forged trails into the wilderness to harvest its bounty of furs, the trading outposts that were established by them, and the impact they had on regional development.
Accommodations: Higher Ground Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Independence, MO to Council Bluffs, IA
(Wednesday, July 31)
 Breakfast: Breakfast includes cereals, an assortment of bagels and English muffins, a variety of yogurts, different breads for toast, coffee, juices, and choice of fruit.
 Morning: Travel on to Nebraska City and the Missouri River Interpretive Center, where you'll learn about the flora and fauna encountered by the expedition. Then continue your journey to Council Bluffs, so named because it was the site of meetings and councils that Lewis and Clark held with area Native American tribes.
 Lunch: Lunch stop en route.
 Afternoon: On the way to Council Bluffs, explore the fort and museum at Ft. Atkinson - the first U.S. military post west of the Missouri River, established in 1819 after William Clark recommended the site as an excellent location for a fort. At the Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs, learn about the Lewis and Clark Trail and enjoy educational exhibits, maps, films, and sculpture.
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.
 Evening: Enjoy a free evening to relax or explore Council Bluffs.
Accommodations: Comfort Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Council Bluffs, IA to Yankton, SD
(Thursday, August 1)
 Breakfast: Enhanced continental breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Explore Lewis and Clark State Park, a 20-acre site situated on an oxbow lake that was once a bend in the Missouri River. Examine a full size replica of the party's keelboat-barge, "Best Friend."
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local site.
 Afternoon: At the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Sgt. Floyd Welcome Center, learn more about the leg of the expedition that traversed this region. Continue along the Lewis and Clark Trail toward Yankton, stopping at Spirit Mound. Local tribes believed that tiny demons or spirits, armed with arrows, inhabited this prairie hill. Lewis and Clark set off on foot to investigate this story on Aug. 25, 1804, hiking for four hours in sweltering heat. They didn't find demons, but they did discover a fantastic view and a herd of 800 bison.
 Dinner: Dine in the banquet room at Kelly Inn.
 Evening: Free time.
Accommodations: Best Western Kelly Inn- Yankton, SD
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Yankton, SD to Pierre, SD
(Friday, August 2)
 Breakfast: Expanded continental breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Travel to Fort Randall, a military outpost located on the south side of the Missouri River. Arrive at St. Joseph's School - first opened as a government boarding school in 1880 and now run by a Catholic order serving children and youths from area Sioux reservations - in time for lunch and a look at an authentic teepee that was the typical abode of Plains tribes.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at St. Joseph's School.
 Afternoon: In Pierre, South Dakota's state capital, take guided tours of the Cultural Heritage Center and the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center to learn more about Native peoples and area history. The Cultural Heritage Center features artifacts from the state's past, from Sioux clothing and utensils to the tools of ranchers and miners. The Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center houses artifacts and exhibits on Sioux life, culture, and history.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to enjoy a dinner in a local restaurant of your choice, or take a picnic dinner down to the banks of the Missouri.
 Evening: Relax or explore Pierre. Your centrally-located hotel is just two blocks from the state capitol complex, and three blocks from the banks of the Missouri River.
Accommodations: ClubHouse Hotel & Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Pierre, SD to Bismarck, ND
(Saturday, August 3)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Travel from Pierre to Bismarck, capital of North Dakota, with stops at historic landmarks and sites along the way including a Sacagawea Monument and Sitting Bull's "grave" site.
 Lunch: Buffet Lunch.
 Afternoon: Venture to Mandan - land of rolling hills and bluffs - to explore Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, site of the reconstructed home of General George Armstrong Custer and reconstructed Mandan Indian earth lodges similar to those that housed up to 1000 people just prior to Lewis and Clark's travels through the area.
 Dinner: Board the Lewis and Clark River Boat and enjoy a dinner cruise.
 Evening: Free evening to relax.
Accommodations: Comfort Inn Bismarck
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Bismarck, ND to Medora, ND
(Sunday, August 4)
 Breakfast: Enhanced continental breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Visit the North Dakota Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center for an overview of the time the Corps of Discovery spent at Fort Mandan during the winter of 1804-1805. Here Lewis and Clark met Toussaint Charbonneau and his pregnant wife, Sacagawea. Charbonneau sought to join the corps as an interpreter. During this winter Lewis joined in a buffalo hunt with the Mandans and Sacagawea gave birth. Exhibits include Native American artifacts, a buffalo robe and a cradle board that visitors may try on, and an authentic wood canoe carved from the trunk of a large cottonwood tree.
 Lunch: Sack lunch at Fort Mandan, followed by exploration of the fort.
 Afternoon: Explore the lives of the Northern Plains Indians on the Upper Missouri at the Knife River Indian Village National Historic Site. Step into a reconstructed earth lodge; view the artistry of everyday and ceremonial clothing, bags, and implements; and learn about traditional Hidatsa tribal life. Then walk through the Sakakawea site, where earth lodge depressions hint of vibrant village life.
 Dinner: Barbecue dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Relax at your hotel, or explore Medora in the heart of the North Dakota Badlands.
Accommodations: Rough Riders Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Medora, ND to Billings, MT
(Monday, August 5)
 Breakfast: Hot breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Journey from Medora to Billings, stopping at historic landmarks and sites along the Lewis and Clark Trail.
 Lunch: Picnic Lunch.
 Afternoon: Pompeys Pillar, about 25 miles east of Billings, Montana, is one of the most famous sandstone buttes in America. It was named by Clark after Sacagawea's son who he nicknamed Pomp and is one of two known physical evidence sites of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Clark carved his signature on the face of the butte on July 25, 1806. Learn more about this fascinating landmark during a presentation and explore Pompeys Pillar National Monument to see canoe replicas and enjoy the view of the Yellowstone River.
 Dinner: Dinner at Hotel.
 Evening: Tonight, hear the fascinating account of Clark's return journey down the Yellowstone River.
Accommodations: Best Western Clocktower Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Billings, MT to Helena, MT
(Tuesday, August 6)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Arrive at Missouri Headwaters State Park, which encompasses the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin Rivers and includes the Three Forks of the Missouri National Historic Landmark. Explore the park and learn from history interpreters how the Corps of Discovery anticipated these important headwaters as they traveled up the Missouri River. They stopped at the site on July 28, 1805 and named the three forks coming together at this location after Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Albert Gallatin.
 Lunch: Box lunch.
 Afternoon: Continue on to Helena, with historic interpretation along the route.
 Dinner: Dinner in Helena.
 Evening: Gates of the Mountain - the spectacular landscape seen by Lewis and Clark as they boated along the Missouri River (and tomorrow's destination) - is the subject of this evening's presentation. Learn about their trip through this area of towering limestone cliffs with a deep narrow channel where rock walls appeared to block their passage only to open up as they drew near.
Accommodations: Jorgenson's Inn and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Helena, MT to Great Falls, MT/State Capitol/Historical Society Museum/Gates of the Mountains Boat Ex
(Wednesday, August 7)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast.
 Morning: Venture to the Montana State Capitol Complex, housing public art inventoried and documented by the Montana Historical Society. Then take a guided tour of the Montana Historical Society Museum - known as Montana's Museum - which collects, preserves, and interprets fine art, historical, archaeological, and ethnological artifacts that pertain to Montana and its adjoining geographic region. Then, embark on a boat ride on the Missouri River to view the huge rock bluffs that loom over the river's banks. In July of 1805, when the Corps of Discovery arrived on this stretch of river, they were stunned by the sight of these stone giants. In his journal, Meriwether Lewis wrote: I shall call this place: 'Gates of the Mountains.'" The canyon is home to Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goats, ospreys, eagles, otters and deer.
 Lunch: Sack lunch
 Afternoon: Continue on to Great Falls, with historic interpretation along the way including a stop at First People's Buffalo Jump.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Free time to relax, walk along the Missouri River or go to Wal-Mart for those who need it - transportation provided.
Accommodations: Townhouse Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Great Falls, MT/C.M. Russell Museum
(Thursday, August 8)
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast at hotel including waffles, fruit, oatmeal, cold cereals, muffins, toast, juice, coffee, tea.
 Morning: Free time to explore Great Falls before going to the C.M. Russell Museum--a place where the old West is still alive! His artwork is part entertainment, part history lesson.
 Lunch: Lunch at the C.M. Russell Museum.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a fascinating presentation on the life of C.M. Russell - cowboy, outdoorsman, writer, philosopher, environmentalist and conservationist, artist, and passionate advocate for the Plains Indians. Then, tour the museum, which houses Russell's collection of memorabilia, artifacts, and art work. A local instructor takes you on a guided tour of the infamous Portage Route, where the Corps experienced a grueling, month-long trial to determine the best route around the falls--a serious underestimation on their part.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Free evening.
Accommodations: Townhouse Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Great Falls, MT to Missoula, MT/Giant Springs State Park/Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center
(Friday, August 9)
 Breakfast: Continental Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Travel to Giant Springs State Park where Clark discovered this huge "fountain or spring" during the portage around Great Falls. Walk or ride the bus to the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center. Displays interpret the portage around the Great Falls and other aspects of the expedition. There is an emphasis on their relationships with the Indian tribes of the Northern Plains.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park Headquarters
 Afternoon: Travel to Missoula with a stop at Rodger's Pass to mark the crossing of the Continental Divide.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
 Evening: Tonight's presentation will discuss Lewis and Clark as Naturalists. There were many purposes for the expedition, which President Thomas Jefferson handed down to Lewis in a set of charges. Among them was the recording and collecting of plant and animal specimens.
Accommodations: Ruby's Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Missoula, MT to Lewiston, ID/ Traveler's Rest State Park/Lolo Summit/Nez Perce National Historical P
(Saturday, August 10)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Arrive at Traveler's Rest State Park where the expedition camped September 9-11, 1805 and June 30-July 3, 1806. Here on the return journey the Corps of Discovery separated into two parties as to allow one group to explore the Yellowstone country. Archaeologists found evidence of the latrine and central fire of the Corps in 2002. This is the second of the two sites with physical confirmation of the group's visit.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Lochsa Lodge
 Afternoon: Traveling to Lewiston you'll visit Canoe Camp where the expedition camped and built five canoes for their journey down the Clearwater, Snake and Columbia Rivers. It was here that the expedition finally reached navigable waters after hardships in the Bitterroot Mountains. Learn about the ways of the Nez Perce at the Nez Perce National Historical Park Visitor Center and view a sample canoe.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
 Evening: Learn about the Nez Perce people, history and culture from a Nez Perce Tribal Council Member.
Accommodations: Red Lion Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Lewiston, ID to Hood River, OR
(Sunday, August 11)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Leaving the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake Rivers journey toward The Dalles traveling through the southwest portion of Washington. Instruction provided onboard the bus. Crossing into Oregon view Hat Rock named by Clark on October 19th, 1805.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch at the confluence of the Columbia and Snake rivers where one of artist Maya Lin's confluence project designs near Pasco, Washington, explores the connections of cultures to one other, and to the landscape. Your sense of the place as a meeting point of native cultures, languages, flora and fauna, will deepen as you walk the site.
 Afternoon: Continue on to The Dalles were you'll visit the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, the official interpretive center for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Then we will travel to Hood River for our overnight stay.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
 Evening: Free evening for a walk along down to the beach or along the trail by the hotel.
Accommodations: Best Western Plus Hood River Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Hood River, OR to Astoria, OR/Multnomah Falls/Cape Disappointment
(Monday, August 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Follow the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. Visit Multnomah Falls which plummets 620 feet and is a major landmark on the Columbia River. Lunch: Sack lunch at Skamokawa Vista Park. Here the expedition team was close to the end of its journey. Although the Corps was looking at the Columbia River Estuary, Clark wrote "Ocian in view! Oh! The joy."
 Lunch: Lunch included.
 Afternoon: A step-on guide will join the group and take you on a learning journey through various landmarks in the area including Long Beach, WA, the farthest point north on the coast reach by the expedition.
 Dinner: Dinner at Hotel.
 Evening: Tonight's presentation, "Fulfillment of the Dream," takes you through the final legs of the expedition and its conclusion.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express (Astoria, OR)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Astoria, OR to Portland, OR/Fort Clatsop
(Tuesday, August 13)
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Visit Fort Clatsop National Memorial, site of the expedition's winter quarters from December 7, 1805 to March 23, 1806. The fort site was a safe haven from the stormy shores of the Columbia River Estuary. Return to Astoria to see the Astoria Column which stands on Astoria's highest hill. From the top of this 125-foot spire you'll have impressive view of the Columbia River Estuary.
 Lunch: Lunch in Astoria.
 Afternoon: Travel to Portland
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
 Evening: Farewell, closing words and reflections on the journey
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel- Portland International Airport
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Portland, OR/Departures
(Wednesday, August 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel, with departures after. Farewell!
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  St. Charles, MO Old Town
To visitor Center
  Pierre, SD General Overview
Optional 3 block walk, open till 10PM. Admission is free.
  Helena, MT Holter Museum of Art
The museum is in a renovated historic industrial building. The museum's 10,000- square-foot exhibition space shows all art media, contemporary and historical. The museum shop carries the work of regional artists, craftsmen, and writers. The museum and shop are free and open to the public. For additional information, visit
  Montana Historical Society
The Montana Historical Society houses the "Montana Homeland" exhibit that traces 12,000 years of history under the Big Sky. Its Mackay Gallery has one of the premier Charles M. Russell art collections. Special exhibits are rotated regularly. For additional information, visit
  Great Falls, MT C.M. Russell Museum Complex
C.M. Russell Museum has one of the nation’s finest collections of Western art devoted to Russell and his contemporaries. The complex also includes the former home and log cabin studio of Montana’s famous cowboy artist. Preserved as it was in the early 1900s, the studio includes displays of Russell’s personal objects used as props and references for accuracy. For additional information, visit
  Great Falls Historic Trolley
The Great Falls Historic Trolley will take you for a fun one-r or two-hour guided tour of Great Falls, past and present. Rainbow Falls and Broadwater Overlook Park are the two scheduled stops for additional history and photos on the two-hour tour. For additional information, visit
  Malmstrom Air Force Base Heritage Center and Air Park
Exterior displays include: Aircraft: F-101B/F, Voodoo; B-25J, Mitchell Bomber; EB-57 B/E, Canberra; F-84F, Thunderstreak; UH-IF, Huey (Iroquois); T-33, Shooting Star; KC-97G, Stratotanker; LGM-30G Minute Man III, ICBM Museum Displays include: one of the largest military model aircraft displays in the northwest; World War II-era barracks room; Lend Lease Diorama; SAGE Computer, Flight suit and Survival Equipment displays; Minute Man I and II missile launch consoles; Minute Man Launch Facility cutaway, Army Air Corps and US Air Force uniform display; Lewis and Clark Portage Map of Great Falls, Montana. For additional information, visit
  Missoula, MT Historical Museum at Fort Missoula
The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula was established to save what remained of original Fort Missoula, and to interpret the area's history. Located on 32 acres in the heart of historic Fort Missoula, its collection includes 24,000 objects including 13 historic structures. The museum's indoor galleries contain both permanent and changing exhibits that deal with topics of interest from the period of early exploration to modern times. For additional information, visit
  Missoula Art Museum
Missoula Art Museum manages the Missoula County Art Collection, as well as its own collection, which is distinguished by the Contemporary American Indian Art Collection, and works from regional and local artists, including: Dale Chihuly, Jacob Lawrence, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Susan Stewart and E.S. Paxson. For additional information, visit
  Portland, OR Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
The Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden was originally developed as a test garden. The oldest rhododendron in the current garden was planted prior to 1917. There are more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and companion plants in the garden. For additional information, visit
  International Rose Test Garden
With 8,555 rose bushes representing 722 varieties of roses, this garden is definitely worth a visit. Call 503-823-3635 or visit the website for additional information. For additional information, visit
  Lan Su Chinese Garden
Discover an ever-changing landscape of pavilions, stone, water, plants and literature. Call 503-228-8131 or visit the website for additional information. For additional information, visit
  Oregon Historical Society
Experience the Oregon story, from its earliest inhabitants to the present day, with fascinating displays of rare Oregon treasures. Call 503-222-1741 or visit the website for more information. For additional information, visit
  Pittock Mansion
The Pittock Mansion was home to Portland pioneers Henry and Georgiana Pittock from 1914 to 1919. During the late 1800s and the early 1900s, their lives and work paralleled the growth of Portland from a small Northwest town site to a thriving city with a quarter million population. With its eclectic architectural design and richly decorated interior, including family artifacts, the Pittock Mansion stands today as a living memorial of this family’s contributions to the blossoming of Portland and its people. Information from Call 503-823-3623 or visit their website for additional information. For additional information, visit
  Portland Art Museum
The Portland Art Museum is the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest. The Museum’s collection includes works of European painting and sculpture, American painting and sculpture, English silver, Asian art, Native American art, Pre-Columbian art, Cameroon and other African art, contemporary art, sculpture, prints and drawings, and photography. Call 503-226-2811 or visit the website for additional information. For additional information, visit
  Portland International Airport
For information about airlines, parking, restaurants or shopping at the airport call 877-739-4636 or visit their website. For additional information, visit
  Portland Japanese Garden
This beautiful and tranquil garden features five gardens in 5.5 acres. Call 503-223-1231 or visit their website for additional information. For additional information, visit
  Portland Spirit River Cruise
Portland Spirit River Cruises offer Willamette River cruises and Columbia River cruises from downtown Portland Oregon aboard the Portland Spirit, the Willamette Star, the Crystal Dolphin and the Outrageous Jetboat. Call 1-800-224-3901 or visit their website for additional information. For additional information, visit
  Portland Walking Tours
Portland Walking Tours offers a wide range of walking tours- from the Best of Portland, to Underground Portland to an Epicurean Excursion. Call 503-774-4522 or visit their website for additional information. For additional information, visit
  Powell's City of Books
Powell's City of Books has over a million new and used books on the shelves. Get lost in the nine color coded rooms while searching through the 3,500 sections. This is more than just a bookstore, it's an entire block! Call 1-800-878-7323 or visit their website for additional information. For additional information, visit
  Travel Portland
Portland's one-stop visitor center, includes local events calendar and trip planning information. Visitor's information center conveniently located in Pioneer Courthouse Square (also known as Portland's living room). Call 1-800-962-3700 or visit their website for additional information. For additional information, visit
  Tri Met
Tri Met is Portland's public transportation system (includes lightrail, streetcar and buses). Call 503-238-7433 or visit their website for more information. For additional information, visit
  Waterfront Bicycle
Whether you're looking to rent a bike for a few hours or for a week, Waterfront Bicycle will have what you need. All rentals include a helmet, lock and handlebar bag. Choose from five styles of bikes. Website includes suggested rides. Call 503-227-1719 or visit their website for additional information. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Along the Trail With Lewis and Clark

Author: Barbara Fifer and Vicky Soderberg

Indian Life on the Upper Missouri

Author: John C. Ewers

Lewis and Clark Among the Indians

Author: James P. Ronda

Lewis and Clark: Pioneering Naturalists

Author: Paul Russell Cutright

Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery

Author: Dayton Duncan & Ken Burns

Native America: Portrait of the Peoples

Author: Duane Champagne

Native Peoples of the Northwest

Author: Jan Halliday and Gail Chehak

Only One Man Died: The Medical Aspects of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Author: Eldon G. Chuinard

Out West: American Journey Along the Lewis and Clark Trail

Author: Dayton Duncan

Passage of Discovery: The ‘American Rivers’ Guide to the Missouri River of Lewis and Clark

Author: Daniel Botkin

Seeking Western Waters: The Lewis and Clark Trail From the Rockies to the Pacific

Author: Emory Strong & Ruth Strong

The Journals of Lewis and Clark

Author: Bernard DeVoto

The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition: Volumes 2 – 11

Author: Gary Moulton

Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West

Author: Stephen E. Ambrose

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