Portland’s Washington Park: Lewis & Clark Memorial – Sacajawea Statue

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After wandering around the International Rose Test Garden for a while, I decided to venture downhill, to check out a few other attractions I had seen on the drive up.  Since I hadn’t seen any parking along the way, I decided to take one of the park’s trails, which I hoped would lead towards the entrance, and the Lewis & Clark column.  (I later discovered there was parking nearby, along the downhill one-way road, although there was none on the uphill side.)

If you decide to walk as I did, you’ll pass one of several reservoirs that hold some of Portland’s drinking water.  For the most part, the reservoirs are off limits, and you’ll probably spot some official-looking people standing guard.  If the gate that leads to the walkway around the reservoir is open, you can circle the unnatural body of water, but as you can see, it’s not an especially exciting sight.

Continue down to the entrance and you’ll find the 34 foot tall granite column, placed in memorial to America’s most famous western explorers, Lewis and Clark.  It was erected in 1908.

From the base of the column, you have a fairly good view of Portland’s downtown skyline.  There are a few rooftops in the way, though.  On a clearer day, Mount St. Helens would also be visible in the distance.

I returned here on my final night in Portland, to capture a picture of the skyline at night.  I also found an even better location to view the downtown buildings nearby.  You can jump ahead to that part of the trip here.

Just a short walk away from the Lewis and Clark Memorial stands a tribute to the only female member of the exploration team, Sacajawea (or Sacagawea, depending on your spelling preference).  The statue of the Shoshone Indian woman, without whose help the Lewis and Clark expedition would have surely failed, was placed here during Portland’s Lewis and Clark Centennial celebration in 1905.  A group of Portland women raised the money for its creation.

Just as you’d expect in the Pacific Northwest, there are plenty of brilliantly green spaces that are perfect for relaxation, including this amphitheatre in Washington Park (complete with a limited view of the city in the distance).

Washington Park was originally known simply as “City Park” until 1909.

Before you leave Washington Park, there are several more attractions to consider visiting (which I simply didn’t have the time to see).  These include the Oregon Holocaust Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, World Forestry Center, Hoyt Arboretum, theOregon Zoo and Railway, and the Portland Children’s Museum.

Note: This trip was first published in 2006.  Much of the same area was covered in the Big Sky trip in 2014.

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