Re-live the 1804-06 Lewis and Clark Expedition’s 8,000-mile journey across western North America in the comfort of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center. Built into a scenic bluff with spectacular views of the Missouri River, the Center’s exhibits and ranger programs bring alive the indomitable spirit of exploration.
Start your indoor journey with one of two introductory videos in the 158-seat theater with six wheelchair-accessible seats and open captioning. Then, join a ranger for a program or explore the many hands-on exhibits in the Center, operated by the USDA Forest Service since 1998.
The self-guided exhibit hall’s centerpiece is the two-story diorama of the portage of the Missouri River’s five great falls. Test your strength pulling a boat against the Missouri’s current. Enhance your journey with a 30-minute audio tour available in English, Spanish, French, German, and Japanese. Or choose the optional 45-minute audio of actors portraying William Clark and George Shannon reminiscing 20 years after the expedition – available in English only.
The ultimate information source on the area’s importance in the Lewis and Clark story, the Interpretive Center also offers a Junior Explorer program and children’s summer camps. The Center offers a grades K-12 education program October-May, by reservation.
The Interpretive Center chronicles the journey of Lewis and Clark, as well as the important experiences with Plains and Northwest Indians. Learn details of the plants and animals that expedition members documented. Feel the Expedition’s disappointment at the impossibility of a Northwest Passage water route.
Venture outdoors with a ranger, or explore trails on your own. Several are wheelchair accessible. Enjoy scenic overlooks and native landscaping. Signs along the trails focus on important roles landscape and wildlife played in the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s time in Montana. Take a trail to neighboring Giant Springs State Park, site of another historic landmark along the Lewis and Clark Trail.
Before you leave, buy a memento in the Portage Cache store operated by the Lewis and Clark Foundation.
4201 Giant Springs Road | Great Falls, MT 59405
406-727-8733 | http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/lewisclark/lcic
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center can be reached by following the brown Interpretive Center / State Park signs in Great Falls. 1/4 mile west of Giant Springs; 1.5 miles east of Black Eagle Dam.