Following the Lewis and Clark Trail

Typically, to retrace the Lewis and Clark Trail, you have to make a choice: Bike it, hike it, or canoe it. But with Lewis and Clark Trail Adventures, the only outfitter along the 200-year-old route with a permit to both float the upper Missouri and mountain bike the doubletrack byway of the Lolo Trail, you can ~ and should ~ do all three.

You start with a three-day, 47-mile canoe trip past the creamy sandstone of the White Cliffs to the folds and uplifts of the Missouri Breaks, and end with a three-day, 75-mile, two-wheel traverse over what Clark once lamented were "high rugged mountains in every direction as far as I could see." [Today they're called the Bitterroot Mountains.]

Along the way, LCTA guides double as history buffs, whether they're paddling or pedaling: They lead interpretive sidehikes, tell campfire stories, and point out everything from petroglyphs to pelicans to key L&C highlights.

And they fuel you with enough grilled wild salmon, buffalo flank steak, and Dutch oven strawberry shortcake to blast up to historical gems such as the Indian Post Office, the Smoking Place, and Spirit Revival Bridge ~ where thte Corps of Discovery first caught sight of the plains to the west, rekindling their hope of finally dipping into their toes into the Pacific.

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