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Lewis and Clark

Lewis and Clark Expedition Time Line

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January 1805
The Corps attends a Mandan buffalo dance, performed to call buffalo to the area.

February 11, 1805
Sacagawea's son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau—nicknamed Pompy by Clark—is born with assistance from Lewis.

April 7, 1805
Lewis and Clark send a shipment of artifacts and specimens to President Jefferson; the "Permanent Party" heads west.

April 29, 1805
The Corps marvels at the abundance of game; they kill their first grizzly bear near the Yellowstone River in Montana.

May 16, 1805
One of their boats nearly overturns and Lewis credits Sacagawea with saving their most important possessions.

May 31, 1805
The Corps reaches the White Cliffs region of the Missouri River.

June 1, 1805
The Corps reaches an unknown fork in the Missouri and must determine which branch to choose.

June 13, 1805
Lewis reaches the Great Falls of the Missouri—five massive cascades around which the men must carry all of their gear, including the canoes.

Late July 1805
The expedition reaches the Three Forks of the Missouri which they name the Jefferson, Gallatin, and Madison in honor of the President, Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of State.

August 8, 1805
Sacagawea recognizes Beaverhead Rock and knows they are close to Shoshone lands.

August 12, 1805
Jefferson receives the shipment from Fort Mandan; Lewis finds the headwaters of the Missouri River, then crosses the Continental Divide and Lemhi Pass to discover that there is no Northwest Passage.

August 17, 1805
The main party arrives at the Shoshone camp, where Sacagawea recognizes the chief as her long-lost brother, Cameahwait.

August 18, 1805
Lewis' celebrates his 31st birthday and vows "in future, to live for mankind as I have heretofore lived only for myself."

August 31, 1805
The expedition sets out for the Bitterroot Mountains with many horses and a mule acquired from the Shoshone.

September 9, 1805
The men camp near today's Missoula, Montana at a spot they name Traveler's Rest while they prepare for the mountain crossing to come.

September 11, 1805
The Corps begins the steep ascent into the Bitterroot Range of the Rocky Mountains; the crossing will cover more than 160 miles (260 kilometers).

September 23, 1805
Starving, the men emerge from the mountains near present-day Weippe, Idaho, at the villages of the Nez Perce Indians.

October 7, 1805
After learning a new method to make dugout canoes from the Nez Perce, the men push off down the Clearwater River near Orofino, Idaho; it is the first time they've traveled with the current at their back in almost two years.

October 16, 1805
The expedition reaches the Columbia River, the last waterway to the Pacific Ocean.

Late October 1805
The Corps must run their canoes through treacherous rapids at The Dalles and Celilo Falls.

November 7, 1805
Believing he sees the Pacific, Clark writes, "Ocian in View! O the joy." In reality, they are seeing only the widening estuary of the Columbia River.

November 24, 1805
Having reached the Pacific, the entire expedition—including Sacagawea and Clark's slave, York—take a vote on where to build their winter quarters. They chose the Clatsop Indian side of the Columbia, and the encampment came to be called Fort Clatsop.

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