Make tracks

Follow the route of Lewis and Clark on a train to Astoria

Bonnie Henderson

It took the Lewis and Clark party four wet days to travel nearly 100 miles from the mouth of Oregon's Willamette River to the site of present-day Astoria in 1805. Today you can zip there in an hour and a half by car, but consider a compromise: a four-hour train trip along the Columbia River's south bank, through wildlife refuges and across old trestles. Last summer was the first time since 1952 that there was passenger train service between Portland and Astoria. It was also the first of only three seasons planned for the Lewis and Clark Explorer Train.

The train leaves Portland's Linnton Boarding District Area (take the shuttle from Union Station) at 7:50 a.m. Fridays through Mondays, May 28 to September 20. Make a weekend of it, or spend five hours exploring Astoria before boarding the return train at 4:45. Catch the new Explorer Shuttle to get to Fort Clatsop and other nearby sites.

All aboard

Following Lewis and Clark

Buy tickets from Amtrak ($58 round trip, including shuttle; 800/872-7245). Reserve a timed ticket to Fort Clatsop ($5;