Visit Great Falls' Lewis and Clark center and explore the Upper Missouri River and its headwaters, with a possible side trip to Pompeys Pillar.

Sunset

GREAT FALLS

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center(406/727-8733) offers the West's best overview of the expedition.The annual Lewis & Clark Festival (Jun 23-27; 406/452-5661)features reenactments, float trips, hikes, and other fun. For GreatFalls lodging and dining information click here.

UPPER MISSOURI RIVER

Guided canoe trips run $200-$325 a day for three to five days.Outfitters include River Odysseys West (800/451-6034) and Missouri River Canoe Company (800/426-2926). For a fulllist, contact the Bureau of Land Management in Fort Benton, Montana(406/622-3839).

POMPEYS PILLAR

This sandstone rise, which William Clark named for Sacagawea'sson, Pomp, holds one of the few physical remnants of theexpedition: Clark's signature, visible behind protective glass. Atexit 23 of I-94, 23 miles east of Billings; (406) 896-5235.

TRAVEL PLANNER

The listings below follow the Lewisand Clark trail through Central Montana.

MALTA, MT

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. Campsitesinclude Kipp Recreation Area (34 developed sites with water andrest rooms $6; Apr-Nov). www.mt.blm.gov/ldo/rec.htmlor (406) 538-7461.

VIRGELLE, MT

Virgelle Merc. Rustic rooms in a historic store;headquarters for the Missouri River Canoe Co. 6 cabins from $40 perperson, 4 rooms from $95. 7485 Virgelle Ferry Rd. N.; www.paddlemontana.com or (800) 426-2926.

FORT BENTON, MT

Grand Union Hotel. This restored 1882 riverside hotel may bethe best place to stay anywhere along the trail. The Union Grille($$$; dinner only Wed-Sun) offers sophisticated food. 26 rooms from$79. 1 Grand Union Square; www.grandunionhotel.comor (406) 622-1882.

Bob's Riverfront Restaurant. Good food, including fineblackberry cobbler. $$. 1414 Front St.; (406) 622-3443.

GREAT FALLS, MT

Best Western Heritage Inn. Large motel complex. 235 roomsfrom $79. 1700 Fox Farm Rd.; (800) 548-8256.

Bert & Ernie's Restaurant & Brewpub. Good forburgers and microbrew beer. $$; closed Sun. 300 First Ave. S.;(406) 453-0601.

Dante's Creative Cuisine. Salads, steaks, pasta in arestored ironworks. $$$. 1325 Eighth Ave. N.; www.dantesgf.com or (406)453-9599.

THREE FORKS, MT

Sacajawea Hotel. This restored railroad inn is charming;good restaurant too ($$$). 31 rooms from $89. 5 N. Main St.; www.sacajaweahotel.comor (888) 722-2529.

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park. 40 tent and RV sitesfrom $15, 3 cabins from $39; cavern tours (May-Sep) $10. 19 mileswest of Three Forks off State 2; (406) 287-3541.― Peter Fish and Abigail Peterson

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