If you’re traversing southeastern Washington, Clarkston will be the first sizeable city you’ve seen in several hours. It’s followed immediately by Lewiston, Idaho, on the opposite side of the Snake River. Both towns are worth, at least, some brief exploring as you travel through, or they could provide a good overnight stop for exploring the Palouse region to the west, or Hell’s Canyon to the south.
On my way into Clarkston, a couple of neat neon signs caught my eye. The 410 Drive-In has been around since 1955 — back when US 12 was known as US 410. The old road number existed from 1926 to 1967, when US 12 was extended.
The Sunset Motel was probably around, back in the 410 days. Its neon sign is still beautiful.
You’ll find Clarkston’s downtown business district along 6th Street (Washington 129), a few blocks south of US 12. It offers the typical collection of small business storefronts.
Back on US 12, almost in the blink of an eye, you’ll be crossing the Snake River and entering Lewiston, Idaho, which I’ll cover on a separate page.
The Bottom Line
Clarkston feels bigger than it really is, especially if you’ve just driven for hours through the sparsely-populated Palouse region. However, between Clarkston and neighboring Lewiston, you’ll find all the services you need for a road trip or an overnight stop.
Clarkston, Washington is located at a sharp bend in the Snake River. If you’re entering from the west on US 12, you’ll follow the Snake for the final few miles into town. US 12 then crosses the Snake, where it enters Lewiston, Idaho.
US 12 is the only major highway in Clarkston, although you’ll find US 95 on the Idaho side.
Check out this time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive from Pomeroy, Washington, through Clarkston, into Lewiston, Idaho: