The Return Home

"Some pine of the long leaf kind appear on the creek hills. Also, about 50 acres of well-timbered pine land where we passed the creek at 4." William Clark, May 2, 1806, while traveling near the area that is now the location of Lewis and Clark Trail State Park.

Following the advice of the local Walla Walla Indians, the Corps of Discovery traveled over the rolling hills of southeastern Washington. They saw animals along the creeks, and Lewis noticed "Cottonwood, birch, the crimson haw, red willow, sweet willow, chokecherry yellow currants, gooseberry, white berried honeysuckle rose bushes, seven bark, and shoe mate."

On May 1, Lewis wrote they "saw a great number of the curlews, some cranes, ducks, prairie larks, and several species of sparrows common to the prairies. I see very little difference between the apparent face of the country here and that of the plains of the Missouri, only that these are not enlivened by the vast herds of buffalo, elk, and cows which ornament the other."View of the tree-lined river at Lewis and Clark Trail State Park The next day, the expedition reached today's Lewis and Clark Trail State Park. Here, Clark noted that "Some pine of the long leaf kind appear on the Creek hills. Also, about 50 acres of well-timbered pine land where we passed the Creek..."

Visitors to the park still enjoy this forest of "pine of the long leaf kind" - today known as Ponderosa Pine. Wildlife and plants abound in this oasis in the middle of grasslands and ranching country. Hike a nature trail to see some of the plants noted by Lewis and Clark. In the evening, listen for the hooting of great horned owls as they prepare to leave the trees for their nightly hunting trips into the surrounding open country.