Lewis and Clark Pass

A moderate, three-mile roundtrip climb rewards you with the wild vistas that awed Meriwether Lewis in 1806. If you see a grizzly bear, consider calming your pulse at the nearby Hotel Lincoln, a historic and cozy refuge favored by participants in winter’s Race to the Sky sled dog race.

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Location

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Nearby
Latitude: 47.142722 Longitude: -112.428914 Elevation: 6426 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Roger Dey

Trail Vertical Gain or Loss

900 feet

Highlights and Best Features of this Trail

Visitors can take a short hike to Lewis and Clark Pass and stand on the very spot where Lewis and his men stood two centuries ago. On July 7, 1806, Lewis's party climbed to the top of the pass and saw the landscape stretch endlessly in every direction, recognizing a welcome prominent landmark, Square Butte, to the north. Today, on a clear day, this hike offers great views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains. Once at the top of Lewis and Clark Pass, search the vast landscapes of the eastern plains to see if you, too, can spot Square Butte, then hike the Continental Divide Trail and discover other stunning views. And keep your eyes open: of all places along the Lewis and Clark Trail, this is the only area on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail where today you may still encounter a grizzly bears.

Full Description of this Recreation Trail

Lewis & Clark Pass is the only non-motorized pass on the entire trail where visitors have the opportunity to see native wildlife such as the grizzly bear. A moderate 3 mile trail brings you to 6400-foot Lewis and Clark Pass, an area that looks as wild as in 1806 when Meriwether Lewis’s small party crossed the Continental Divide here on their return to the Great Plains. From the impressive viewpoint, high mountain peaks rise sharp, challenging rivers run fast and clear, and dense forests blanket the hillsides. The trail accesses the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. The magnficent trail boasts wildflowers, creek, wildlife, and panoramic views from the top.

Trail Distance

3 miles roundtrip

Type of Trail Experience

Out-and-Back

Estimated Time it Takes to Experience this Trail

2 hours to all-day if picnic

Driving Directions from Nearest Town or Landmark

The town of Lincoln is located 58 miles northwest of Helena, MT on Highway 200 and is a full service community. Lewis and Clark Pass is located 9 miles east of Lincoln, MT off Highway 200. Turn north onto Alice Creek Rd (FS Road 293) and drive 11 miles to the trailhead. Hike 1.5 miles to reach the Pass.

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