Clarkston, Washington

Clarkston, also known as the gateway to Hells Canyon, is an exhilarating, fascinating and relaxing place to visit – an interesting mixture that will suit every cruiser. Named after William Clark of the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, this city is the starting point for thrilling jet boat trips to Hells Canyon Dam. It is also close to the hiking and sightseeing trails of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. Tourists often kick back and relax in widely loved restaurants and bars after a day of exploring.

American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamboat Company are popular cruise lines that venture through Clarkston on river cruises. If you’re ready to learn about North American history and see some stunning river sights, be sure to look for itineraries that include this fantastic destination.

Cruise Deals

Vancouver to Clarkston

8 night cruise sailing from Vancouver aboard the American Empress.
Departs 01 Oct 2016
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Vancouver to Clarkston

8 night cruise sailing from Vancouver aboard the American Empress.
Departs 15 Oct 2016
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Vancouver to Clarkston

8 night cruise sailing from Vancouver aboard the American Empress.
Departs 29 Oct 2016
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Clarkston to Vancouver

8 night cruise sailing from Clarkston aboard the American Empress.
Departs 08 Oct 2016
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Port Location

River cruises dock at the Port of Clarkston off the Snake River. The port sits on the north side of the city.

Port Facilities

Passengers are able to walk to a variety of facilities when they disembark from their river cruise.

Facilities located close to the port include:

  • Restaurants

  • Tourism agencies

  • Fast-food outlets

  • Shopping centres

  • Bars

  • A pharmacy.

How to Get Around

Some of the attractions and restaurants in Clarkston can be reached on foot. Those looking to venture a little further can hire a taxi or a bus service.

Travel times from the Port of Clarkston

On foot:

  • It is a 6 minute journey to Riverport Brewing Co.

  • It is a 14 minute journey to Fazzari’s

  • It is a 21 minute journey to Hells Canyon Resort and Marina

  • It is a 15 minute journey to Full Throttle Sports Rentals.

By car/taxi:

  • It is a 2 hour journey to Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

  • It is a 2 minute journey to Fazzari’s

  • It is a 3 minute journey to Hells Canyon Resort and Marina

  • It is a 3 minute journey to Full Throttle Sports Rentals.

General Information

  • Currency – While in Clarkston, purchase delicious pizza, souvenirs and refreshing drinks with United States dollars (USD). Banknotes are printed in USD$1, USD$2, USD$5, USD$10, USD$20, USD$50 and USD$100. Coins come in 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢ and both a silver and a gold USD$1.

  • Time Zone – Clarkston observes Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) between March and November, and at this time the town is 7 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Outside of these months, Pacific Standard Time is in effect, and the town is 8 hours behind UTC.  

  • Weather – Clarkston is famous for its mild temperatures throughout the year, with temperatures averaging 21 degrees Celsius. July is the warmest month of the year, with temperatures hitting around 30 degrees Celsius, and January is the coldest, with temperatures falling to around -2 degrees Celsius.

Highlights

  • Snake Dancer Excursions – Leaving from Hells Canyon Resort and Marina, Snake Dancer Excursions prove to be an extremely popular attraction when visiting Clarkston. Visitors can choose either a full-day or a half-day excursion, and can even go on fishing expeditions on a Hells Canyon Fishing Charter. During a full-day excursion called ‘The Ultimate Experience’, visitors are taken all the way into Hells Canyon Dam. The tour is extremely popular due to its breathtaking scenery, incredible wildlife and intriguing history. On top of this, passengers are taken through rapids on the journey up to the dam. A home-style breakfast and lunch buffet are available as well. On a half-day tour, visitors are taken to the Nez Perce tribe’s traditional crossing point of the Snake River located at Dug Bar in Hells Canyon National Recreation Area – one of the most historical and prominent sections in the dam. During past summers, the water would drop and become a safe crossing point for the Nez Perce.

  • Hells Canyon National Recreation Area – Apart from taking boating excursions through the area, visitors can also try hiking or they can go fishing for trout or sturgeon. Be sure to keep your eye out when exploring the area, as there are many ancient petroglyphs and log cabins left behind by 19th century settlers, prospectors and miners. You might even spot elk, eagles, mule deer and, quite possibly, a bear!

  • Cycling – Stop by Full Throttle Sports Rentals and hire a bike to explore Clarkston’s beautiful riverside bike paths. This is a fantastic way to see the city and meet the locals. Depending on when you’re visiting Clarkston, you may be able to spot bighorn sheep, elk, reptiles, wildflowers and a variety of birds. The Greenbelt Trail is a popular and accessible one to ride along, stretching along the Snake River between Clarkston and Asotin. Riders can stop under shaded canopies to take in fantastic river views and can rest in Asotin’s Chief Looking Glass Park.

  • Fazzari’s – Those craving some delicious, homemade pizza during their adventure through Clarkston can’t miss the local spot, Fazzari’s. There are numerous flavoursome toppings to choose from, and those who can’t make up their mind can try samplers. One of Fazzari’s popular pizzas is the Shotsy, a sauerkraut pizza boasting mustard sauce. Those feeling like something other than pizza can try out other delicious Italian dishes and salads.

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