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Top 10 Tips for Lewis and Clark National Historical Park

A woman leaps on a dirt trail while hiking.
A hiker leaping while out on a trail.

NPS Photo

Are you planning a trip to Lewis and Clark National Historical Park? Check out these tips to help you prepare and make the most of your time with us!

  1. Explore outside

    There’s so much to enjoy outside the visitor center, including the Fort and a network of trails! Learn about the park by reading interpretive displays as you hike, or enjoy the scenery as you explore the trails between Fort Clatsop and Sunset Beach.

  2. Visit during non-peak hours

    The park hours are from 9 am to 5 pm every day, but our busiest time is between 11 am and 3 pm, and our busiest weeks are late July and early August. Mornings are typically the quietest time to visit, especially during our shoulder season.

  3. Bring your pets along for the adventure

    Pets are welcome in the park and on the trails! Always keep them leashed and follow park pet guidelines to protect the park and your pet.

  4. Ask about the museum and films

    Our museum and two park films are a great way to learn about the park! Check with a ranger to see when the next film is playing, and if there are any capacity limits in place.

  5. Explore beyond Fort Clatsop

    Fort Clatsop is the most popular site, but Lewis and Clark National Historical Park has several different site locations. If the Visitor Center and Fort are busy, explore one of the other areas of the park!

  6. Check the distance

    Many of our other sites and nearby state parks are 10-45 minutes away, so make sure to check a map and plan your drive times.

  7. Plan ahead for overnight trips

    We don’t have a campground, and many of the local lodges, hotels, and campgrounds fill up fast. Check availability before hitting the road.

  8. Ask about park pass options

    If you’re planning on visiting multiple National Parks or continuing along the Oregon Coast, chat with a ranger about the annual pass options!

  9. Download the NPS App

    Enjoy guided audio tours, maps, and information at your fingertips. You can even download park information for offline use.

  10. Be ready to go without cell reception

    There is limited cell reception for some carriers. Try to download any necessary information before coming to the park and be prepared to go without phone calls and texts.


    Check out more tips and suggestions from other National Park Service sites!

Last updated: September 2, 2021