Gates of the Mountains

As the Lewis and Clark expedition paddled down the Missouri River on July 19, 1805 sheer cliffs and perpendicular stone walls rose in front of them seemingly blocking their passage at first. Without an option to safely get ashore the party floated on however, and rounding a bend were welcomed by a break in the 1,200 foot limestone, towers of rock flanking the water. Lewis wrote, “I shall call this place Gates of the Mountains.”

Today this stunning wilderness remains largely unchanged with the exception of higher water levels due to dam construction in the early 20th century. The majesty is almost certainly undiminished. I don’t know where I first came across mention of the boat tours in the canyon, but I love a good boat ride and it seemed the most practical way to see the wilderness since Tom and I are not particularly good kayakers.

The 2 hour boat tour did not disappoint. Not only did we get up close views of the incredible canyon walls and humongous pines, but we learned some interesting history about the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Man Gulch Fire of 1949, saw some eagles, and had a lovely relaxing boat trip.