Lewiston, ID & Clarkston, WA


Lewiston and by extension Clarkston are two northwestern towns located on northwestern Idaho and southeastern Washington borders in Nez Perce, ID and Asotin, WA counties. Located about 104mi south of Spokane, 500 miles south of the Canadian border, 315 west of Seattle and 270 north of Boise. Lewiston is the bigger of the two with a population of 32,000 and Clarkston with 7,000 according to the 2018 census. The towns are named after the famous explorers Lewis and Clark after their 1800s expedition. The towns are separated by the snake river which converge with the clearwater river at the northern part of the two towns. Lewiston and Clarkston’s weather are pretty fair and I would say the get all four seasons. The USDA biome map labels the area Temperate desert or high desert. Located in a valley the towns are surrounded by mountains which are pretty cool. 

One of the first things you’ll might notice about the town is the smell, thanks to the local Papermill in the eastern part of town. The smell to my closest comparison is the smell of Brussel sprouts, the smell can be quite strong in the hotter month but most people get used to it. 


The land Lewiston and Clarkston are located on are rich in history spanning before the towns were even founded. Located on traditional Nez Perce land and part of nez Perce land Reservation until the 1863 treaty which was a downsize from the 1855 treaty which was a downsize of the original traditional land. The Nez Perce will aid Lewis and Clark in their expedition when they arrived in 1805. The two explorers would set up camp along the snake river in modern day Hell’s gate state park. The town wouldn’t be a thing until its founding 1862 in response to a gold rush and the town of Lewiston would become the territory of Idaho’s first capitol which it would lose is capitol status to Boise a year later. 

Things to do

As for things to do in Lewiston there a good number of things to do in these towns for people with a variety of interest. To start off with downtown, the downtown of Lewiston has many activities located on the street, the downtown isn’t the biggest but It’s a good size. The downtown has local shops, restaurants and historic buildings perfect for a stroll. If you’re looking for in the way of nightlight life there a couple bars located throughout town, but I wouldn’t say this town would be known for its nightlife. The Downtown is connected to the greenbelt/levee trail. The greenbelt/levee trails are trails that follow the shore of the river, and are just amazing (I wish more towns had trails like these). The trails are very well kept and maintained. You’ll see people fishing, running, skateboarding, and biking on these trails. Outdoor activities I feel like these sister towns do very well.  you can drive or follow those trails to Hell’s gate state park which has a lot of activities to do, you can visit the visit center to learn more. There also many free camping sites outside of town along wai wai road like Nisqually john and Blyton landing, they’re only a 20-30 mins drive west of town. These campsites are owned and manage by USACE and are completely free, have vault toilets, and docks for launching boats and canoes. With these sites located on the edge of the river makes them great places to fish and enjoy nature. In the other direction of town to the east is Nez Perce National park, which Is a great place to learn about Nez Perce history and culture. This park is particularly special with having 38 unique sites related to the Nez Perce. The visitor center is located in Spalding Idaho about 20 mins east of Lewiston. Next, Casinos I would be amiss if I didn’t mention the casinos there is two that I know of lancer lanes located in Clarkston and the bigger one clearwater river casino. I personally never been inside but I heard great things. As for events, I notice a good amount of parades. Lewiston also has as annual Brewfest and the main event of the year the Lewiston roundup which is an annual rodeo which occurs in early September, it looks like a lot of fun and I can wait to go to it this year. 


In summary, Lewiston and Clarkston are good size towns with small town vibes and local vibes. They’re a  great place to stop and have a lunch or walk around and explore.  

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