October 5 - 6, 1805
The Journey Begins - Canoe Camp
 
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October 1805 to June 1806

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INTRO

The Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark
October 5-6

The Journey Begins,
Canoe Camp

Canoe Camp, Orofino (Idaho), Dworshak Dam, Nez Perce National Historical Park, and the Clearwater River
CONTINUE

October 7-9
On the Clearwater, Canoe Camp to the Potlatch River
 

On October 7, 1805, Lewis and Clark and the "Corps of Discovery" began their journey down the Clearwater River and into the volcanics of the Pacific Northwest. The Corps travelled from the Clearwater to the Snake and down the "Great Columbia", finally reaching the Pacific Ocean on November 15, 1805. Along the journey they encountered the lava flows of the Columbia Plateau, river channels carved by the great "Missoula Floods", and the awesome beauty of five Cascade Range volcanoes.

Map, Lewis and Clark in the Pacific Northwest, click for brief
                         summary
[Click map for brief summary about the area]


 
To the Pacific - October 1805
The Journey Begins -- Canoe Camp
 

Between September 26 and October 7, 1805, Lewis and Clark camped at the confluence of the North Fork Clearwater River with the main stem Clearwater River, approximately 4 miles west of today's Orofino, Idaho. This site is called "Canoe Camp".

Saturday, October 5, 1805
The wind easterly, and the weather cool. The canoes being nearly finished it became necessary to dispose of our horses. They were therefore collected to the number of thirty-eight, and being branded and marked were delivered to three Indians, the two brothers and the son of a chief, who promises to accompany us down the river [Clearwater River]. To each of these men we gave a knife and some small articles, and they agreed to take good care of the horses till our return. ......


Along the Journey - October 5, 1805
Canoe Camp

Canoe Camp:
Between September 26 and October 7, 1805, Lewis and Clark camped at the confluence of the North Fork Clearwater River with the main stem Clearwater River, approximately 4 miles west of today's Orofino, Idaho. At this site, called "Canoe Camp", the Lewis and Clark expedition, aided by the Nez Perce, built five canoes for their journey down the Columbia River. On October 10, 1805, the Lewis and Clark expedition left the Orofino area to begin their journey down the Clearwater to the Snake and on to the Columbia River. Today, Dworshak Dam, the tallest dam in Idaho, is located approximately one mile upstream of Canoe Camp, on the North Fork Clearwater River. Canoe Camp is part of the Nez Perce National Historic Park.


Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Snake River, click to enlarge Map, 1855, Clearwater and Snake from Canoe Camp to the Columbia, click to enlarge Image, 1941, Looking down at Orofino, Idaho, click to enlarge Image, Clearwater River from Canoe Camp area, Idaho, click to enlarge Image, Clearwater River and Dugout Canoe, Idaho, click to enlarge
  1. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Shows Canoe Camp. From the "Nicholas Biddle/Paul Allen" 1814 publication. Original Map: "A Map of Lewis and Clark's Track, Across the Western Portion of North America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean". From: History of the expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark : to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the river Columbia to the Pacific Ocean : performed during the years 1804-5-6 : by order of the government of the United States / prepared for the press by Paul Allen. Philadelphia : Bradford and Insskeep, 1814. Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University #upbover maps37. -- Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library Website, 2004.
  2. 1855 Map, Clearwater and Snake Rivers, including Canoe Camp (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Original Map: "Map of Oregon and Washington Territories: showing the proposed Northern Railroad route to the Pacific Ocean, by John Disturnell, 1855. University of Washington Archives #UW155. -- University of Washington Library Collections Website, 2002
  3. 1941, Looking down at Orofino, Idaho. (Click to enlarge). Photograph Date: July 1941. Photographer: Russell Lee. Library of Congress, Farm Security Administration Office of War Information Photograph Collection #LC-USF347-070030-D. -- U.S. Library of Congress, American Memories Website, 2003
  4. Clearwater River from Canoe Camp area, Idaho. (Click to enlarge). Photograph by the Idaho Travel Council, #1795.25. Dworshak Dam is in the background. -- Idaho Department of Commerce Photo Archives, 2002
  5. Clearwater River and dugout canoe, from Canoe Camp area, Idaho. (Click to enlarge). Photograph by the Idaho Travel Council #r20115. -- Idaho Department of Commerce Photo Archives, 2002


Orofino, Idaho:
In the winter of 1859, Captain Elias D. Pierce found gold in the Orofino region. Due to restrictions on what had become part of the Nez Perce Reservation, Captain Pierce could not legally come into the area. He returned quietly in the winter of 1860 with a party of 12, camped on Canal Gulch near what is now the town of Pierce, and made a significant gold discovery. That winter, 1860-61, Pierce City and Oro Fino City were established two miles apart. In 1867 Oro Fino burned down and was not rebuilt. Today's Orofino got its start in 1898, with the inflow of settlers and the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad up Clearwater River. The name Oro Fino (which means "fine gold") was taken from the old gold rush town of "Oro Fino". When the post office objected to two words, the town joined the two words and became Orofino. -- Orofino, Idaho, Chamber of Commerce Website, 2003, and Clearwater, Idaho, Historical Museum Website, 2003


Dworshak Dam:
Dworshak Dam is located on the North Fork Clearwater River approximately 5 miles north of Orofino, and approximately one mile north of the North Fork's confluence with the main stem Clearwater River (location of Lewis and Clark's Canoe Camp). The Dworshak Dam is a 717-feet-high concrete dam, the tallest dam in Idaho. Completed in 1971, it is used for flood control and power generation. The reservoir has a storage capacity of 2 million acre feet of water, the largest in the state. -- Idaho Department of Water Resources Website, 2003


Nez Perce National Historical Park:
When Nez Perce National Historical Park was created in 1965, it consisted of 24 sites scattered across north central Idaho. Four of the sites were administered by the National Park Service and the remaining 20 were a mixture of other federal, local, and private sites. In 1992 an additional 14 sites were added in the adjoining states of Oregon, Washington, and Montana. Currently, agreements with the property owners are being worked out to provide for public access to each area. -- U.S. National Park Service Website, Nez Perce National Historical Park, 2002


"... Lattitude of this place from the mean of two observations is '46o 34' 56.3" North -- ..." [Clark, October 5, 1805]
"... The hills high and ruged and woods too dry to hunt the deer which is the only game in our neighbourhood ..." [Clark, October 5, 1805]


Sunday, October 6, 1805
This morning is again cool, and the wind easterly. ...... We had all our saddles buried in a cache near the river [Clearwater River], about half a mile below, and deposited at the same time a canister of powder, and a bag of balls. The time which could be spared from our labours on the canoes, was devoted to some astronomical observations. The latitude of our camp as deduced from the mean of two observations is 46o 34' 56"; 3"'; north.
"... The river below this forks is Called 'Kos-kos-kee'. it is Clear rapid with Shoals or Swift places -- The open Countrey Commences a fiew miles below This on each side of the river, on the Lard Side below the 1st Creek. with a few trees Scattered near the river. ..." [Clark, October 6, 1805]


Along the Journey - October 6, 1805
Clearwater River, 1956

Clearwater River:
The Clearwater River drains approximately 9,645 square miles, and extends 100 miles north to south and 120 miles east to west. Four major tributaries drain into the mainstem Clearwater River: the Lochsa, Selway, South Fork Clearwater, and North Fork Clearwater Rivers. The Clearwater River has an international reputation as one of the best steelhead fisheries anywhere. The river, along with U.S. Highway 12, are part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Developed recreation sites in the area are primarily for boating and fishing, with camping available in a few locations. The North Fork of the Clearwater and the Lochsa Rivers provide miles of tumbling whitewater interspersed with quiet pools for migratory and resident fish. The Clearwater was used as a passageway by explorers and trappers, and later by miners and loggers because it was much more tame than its counterpart the Salmon River. -- Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority Website, 2002, Visit Idaho Website, 2002, and Idaho Museum of Natural History Website, 2002, Digital Atlas of Idaho


Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Snake River, click to enlarge Map, 1853, Washington and Oregon and the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1855, Clearwater and Snake from Canoe Camp to the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1881, Snake, Clearwater, Grande Ronde, Salmon, click to enlarge Map, 1893, Snake, Clearwater, Potlatch Rivers, click to enlarge Image, 1956, Clearwater River, Idaho, click to enlarge
  1. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark's (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Shows the Clearwater River ("Koos-koos-kee R."). From the "Nicholas Biddle/Paul Allen" 1814 publication. Original Map: "A Map of Lewis and Clark's Track, Across the Western Portion of North America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean". From: History of the expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark : to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the river Columbia to the Pacific Ocean : performed during the years 1804-5-6 : by order of the government of the United States / prepared for the press by Paul Allen. Philadelphia : Bradford and Insskeep, 1814. Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University #upbover maps37. -- Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library Website, 2004.
  2. 1853 Map, Washington and Oregon and the Columbia River, from the Clearwater River to the Snake River and down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Includes: Clearwater River (Kooskooski), Lapwai Creek (Lapwai R.), Snake River (Saptin or Lewis R.), Columbia River (Columbia R.), Yakima River (Yakima R.), Umatilla River (Umatilla R.), Willow Creek (Quesnells R.), John Day River (John day's R.), Deschutes River (Fall R.), Willamette River (Willammette R.), and Cowlitz River (Cowlitz R.). Original Map: "Map of California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and New Mexico (1853)", by Thomas Cowperthwait & Co. Washington State University Archives #WSU22. -- Washington State University Library Collections Website, 2003
  3. 1855 Map, Clearwater and Snake Rivers, including the Clearwater River (Kooskoosky R.) (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Original Map: "Map of Oregon and Washington Territories: showing the proposed Northern Railroad route to the Pacific Ocean, by John Disturnell, 1855. University of Washington Archives #UW155. -- University of Washington Library Collections Website, 2002
  4. 1881 Map, Snake, Clearwater, Grande Ronde, and Salmon Rivers (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Original Map: "Map of the Grande Ronde Wallowa and Imnaha Country, 1881". Map section shows the Snake River (name doesn't show), "Clear Water" River (central right, tributary to the Snake), Grande Ronde River (lower left, only "de River" shows, tributary to the Snake), Salmon River (lower right, tributary to the Snake) Lewiston, Central Ferry, Alpowai, Dayton, Pataha, and the Blue Mountains. By H. Chandler, Eng., Buffalo, 1881., Washington State University Historical Maps Collection #WSU468. -- Washington State University Library Archives Website, 2002
  5. 1893 Map, Part of the Snake River showing location of principal rapids (section of original). Includes part of the Clearwater River and Potlatch River and others. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: "Part of the Snake River from its mouth to the Grande Ronde, showing location of principal rapids". U.S. Engineers Office, 1893. Washington State University Historical Maps Collection #WSU586. -- Washington State University Library Archives Website, 2002
  6. 1956, Clearwater River, Idaho. (Click to enlarge). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, Photo Archives #b404. Photo date: May 23, 1856. -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Photo Archives, 2003



Along the Journey - October 6, 1805
The Camp - September 26 to October 7, 1805:
Between September 26 and October 7, 1805, Lewis and Clark camped at the confluence of the North Fork Clearwater River with the main stem Clearwater River, approximately 4 miles west of today's Orofino, Idaho. At this site, called "Canoe Camp", the Lewis and Clark expedition, aided by the Nez Perce, built five canoes for their journey down the Columbia River. Today, Dworshak Dam, the tallest dam in Idaho, is located approximately one mile upstream on the North Fork Clearwater River. Canoe Camp is part of the Nez Perce National Historic Park.



 
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