Discovery Pack Loans

Backpack with scientific instruments and books on the table in front

What is a Clay Pit Pond discovery pack?

The Clay Pit Pond Trail discovery packs are backpacks with exploration tools and educational activities to guide you through the Clay Pit Pond trail at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. The pack includes an activity book that guides you through exploration, observations, science, and reading using a variety of tools.

This pack is for on site use only and is not available to be shipped to you. If you would like scientific discovery materials that can be shipped, please consider requesting our Scientific Discovery Traveling Trunk.

How do you get a Clay Pit Pond discovery pack?
You can borrow a discovery pack for free with admission at the visitor center front desk. Ask a ranger at the front desk, and they will check the pack out to you. Discovery packs are intended only for day use at the park and should be returned before you leave the park.

About the Clay Pit Pond Discovery Pack

Suggested amount of time for exploration with the pack
45 minutes – 2 hour

Suggested group size per pack
No more than 5 kids

The Clay Pit Pond Discovery Pack is suited for adults to help children 6 – 12 years old complete the activities of the journal. The pack includes:
Adventure tools:
  • Trail Map
  • Discovery Journal on clipboard
  • Compass
  • Thermometer
  • Binoculars
  • Crayons & colored pencils
  • Photo lens kit with instructions
  • pH strips
  • Specimen jar
  • Animal track stencils
  • Hand lens
    • Curious Kids Nature Guide
    • S is for Salmon
    • A Log’s Life
    • How We Crossed the West/ Going along with Lewis & Clark

About the Discovery Journal

The Clay Pit Pond Discovery Journal is introduced as a tool of a naturalist. A naturalist code of ethics is provided on the first page to guide the visitors to be safe and observe their surroundings. The journal is to be used to record observations and complete the activities following the icons on the map which match with the number of the activity in the booklet. The activities are listed below:
  1. Weather
  2. Navigation: map and compass
  3. Water quality: pH and temperature
  4. Temperate rainforest: trees and shrubs
  5. Temperate rainforest: understory and plant identification
  6. Wildlife observations: finding evidence
  7. Wildlife observations: animal tracks
  8. Wildlife bingo
  9. Leaf rubbing
To request a PDF copy of the journal please send us an e-mail.

All of the activities in the journal relate to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the temperate rainforest and how to be a naturalist by recording discoveries. Activity 1 introduces weather observations and why Lewis and Clark kept an extensive journal. Activity 2 teaches how to read a map and how to use a compass to navigate to the Clay Pit Pond trail from the visitor center flag pole. Activity 3 is completed once you have reached the Clay Pit Pond. The activity introduces the watershed and prompts your group to collect a water sample. From the water sample, your group will measure pH, temperature, and make observations to determine whether the pond can support life. Activities 4 and 5 introduce the landscape of the temperate rainforest with plant identification of trees, shrubs, and understory plants. The identification key includes the common and scientific name, identifiable features, a picture, and how people use the plant. Activity 5 includes space for the your group to make their own observation about a plant. Activities 6, 7, and 8 focus on wildlife. Activity 6 instructs to find evidence of wildlife using senses and the binoculars included in the pack. Activity 7 utilizes the Elk track stencil and explains the importance of elk to the landscape. Activity 8 is a wildlife bingo game for the last stretch of trail back to the visitor center. Activity 9 is a leaf rubbing to be completed in the picnic area. Your group is encouraged to keep the journals and continue to exercise naturalist skills at home, at school, and on your next nature adventure. Upon return of the discovery pack, you will be handed an evaluation that will help us continue to improve this discovery tool.

Last updated: October 24, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
92343 Fort Clatsop Road

Astoria, OR 97103


(503) 861-2471

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