Summertime Family Fun In The Lewis-Clark Valley

Summer. What starts as a long stretch of warm sunny days reaching far into the future winds to a close far too fast. If you’re looking for a quick getaway that  will give you and your kids some quality time before school starts back up, read on!

We’ve got a weekend plan full of fun and adventure that’s going to give your family a summer to remember.

Get your little ones out on the links at Gateway Golf Center. The 18 hole, miniature golf course is kid-friendly, sits right on the Snake River and promises an hour or two of real play on real grass.

Next, dip into a little good clean fun at the Asotin County Family Aquatic Center for a bit of splashing under the sun. Small swimmers will love the Lazy River and the shallow Adventure Pool, older kids will have a great time on the high-speed water slides and wave pool, and everyone will love the water feature toys!

Whew! It’s probably time for dinner and what’s better than pizza? How about watching your pizza being made?! Fazarri’s Finest Pizza has family style seating and a great viewing window where kids can watch their dough being tossed, sauced, sliced and served.

Instead of a bed time story, grab a blanket or low chairs and head to Pioneer Park to watch a family film under the stars at Movies On The Wall. Showing this August you can catch Back To The Future, The Natural and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. Admission is free and open to everyone so you’re guaranteed a seat.

So, what do you think? Grab a suitcase, some clothes and sunscreen and let us help you make some summertime memories.

To plan your stay, check out our RV Parks, CampgroundsHotels or Bed & Breakfasts and don’t forget to watch our Specials & Packages for a great deal.

If you come, don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see a picture or two of your race getaway! You can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page or give a shout on Twitter to @HellsCanyon.

Snake River Lewis-Clark Valley Road Trip

When was the last time you packed up the car and went for an old school road trip? If you had to think about that for more than 5 seconds, it’s been too long. Let’s get you on the road this summer!

I’m a firm believer that the art of the road trip is governed by food so my first suggestion is to pack a picnic lunch. Think finger foods or sandwiches, some chips, pickles and a blanket with a thermos of lemonade. For down time in the car, you’ll want some distractions if there are kids riding with you; Bellhop has a great set of printable Road Bingo cards and we also found some instructions for Cat’s Cradle.

All packed? Buckle up and let’s go!

Start at the foot of the Lewiston Hill on Hwy 95 where you’ll find Two Nations Meet On the Kooskie River by David Govedare & Keith Powell, a metal sculpture installation that can be viewed from the road as you drive by. There’s a scenic lookout 3/4 of the way up the hill with a spectacular view of the Lewis-Clark Valley; it’s a good spot for a photo.

Just before the summit, you’ll see the turn off for the Old Spiral Highway. This part of the drive will require some close attention but it’s worth the effort. Interesting fact:  Charlie Ryan’s Hot Rod Lincoln was written about his hot rod race up this very same highway – can you imagine someone doing that?!

Coming to the bottom of the spiral, you’re in for a leisurely 55 mile drive along the Snake River to Lower Granite Dam for a picnic lunch. If you’re lucky, you can watch the locks empty – it’s impressive. After lunch, spend some time in the Visitor Center and be sure to check out the fish viewing window for a good look at trout, bass, steelhead and Chinook salmon.

Leaving the dam and 72 miles further along the road is Palouse Falls and a short hike to see 198′ of falling white water. Hop back in the car and head back to the Lewis-Clark Valley. The drive takes you over the oldest extant steel cantilevered bridge in the State of Washington, 1000′ long The Snake River Bridge.

You’ve got to be hungry again, right? Coming back to Clarkston, turn into the 410 Drive In for a genuine drive-in experience – they’ve been in business since 1955 and definitely know their way around a burger and shake.

At the end of a big day, you’re going to want good night’s sleep. In keeping with the retro-road trip theme, we suggest a night at the Motel 6 because … they’ll leave the light on.

Average drive time for this round trip is 5 hours. Google Directions and Lite Map, MapQuest Travel Journal.

To plan your stay, check out our RV Parks, CampgroundsHotels or Bed & Breakfasts and don’t forget to watch our Specials & Packages for a great deal.

If you come, don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see a picture or two of your race getaway! You can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page or give a shout on Twitter to @HellsCanyon.

Races, Runs and Fun in the Lewis-Clark Valley | Summer and Fall 2013

5K Fun Runs, Half Marathons, Marathons, Duathlons, Triathlons …. why do you race? Is it to keep in shape? Maybe it’s a social thing you do with friends? How about the great t-shirts? (Ahem, the author raises her hand for this last choice.)

Really, it doesn’t matter why you race. What matters is that you do race and that we have some great events on the run calendar.  The Lewis-Clark Valley provides a beautiful scenic backdrop for a number of races each year – here’s a few of our favorites:

  • 35th Annual Seaport River Run in April
    Part of the Annual Dogwood Festival of the Lewis-Clark Valley, this 2.9 mile or 10K Fun Run course follows the banks of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers.
  • Run For the Hill of It in May
    An 8 mile course that climbs a 2000′ elevation up the famed Old Spiral Highway on the Lewiston Hill.
  • Mt. Misery Mania Relay & Solo Run in July
    This a serious 57 mile run through the Umatilla Forest. Starting at Asotin Creek Canyon, the course ascends to an elevatin of 6194 feet between Mt. Misery and Mt. Horrible, descends to the Grande Ronde River and Grouse Flats then plunges down the Wenaha River to Troy.
  • 16th Annual LC Valley Marathon, Half Marathon and Doc Sears 5K in October
    All three runs start at Chief Looking Glass Park in Asotin and follow the Greenbelt Trail along the Snake River in Washington with the full Marathon course continuing into Idaho along the Clearwater River.


Part of the fun of running is a good carb-load. If you’re hunting for pasta, look no further than Tomato Bros. for Spaghetti Bolognese, Fettuccine Alfreda or Spaghetti Marinara – all available as gluten free entrees, too!

To plan your stay, check out our RV Parks, Campgrounds, Hotels or Bed & Breakfasts and don’t forget to watch our Specials & Packages for a great deal.

If you come, don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see a picture or two of your race getaway! You can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page or give a shout on Twitter to @HellsCanyon.

Romantic Stays For February 2013 Near Hells Canyon

Spend a romantic getaway with us!

Situate yourselves in a riverview room on the southern bank of the Snake River for some time to spoil and be spoiled. Begin your stay by checking in to private room with a king size bed and a Jacuzzi Spa bath. Once you’re settled, there’ll be a platter of fruits, cheeses and crackers and a split of Champagne. After that, you can order room service or walk down to Bogey’s for some fine dining or the Q Lounge for a fireside cocktail. The next morning, enjoy a delicious made to order breakfast in bed.  Romantic Getaway Package for two at $150 + tax is available February 1-29, 2013 from Quality Inn & Suites in Clarkston, Washington.

Within walking distance: Wine tasting at Basalt Cellars, Miniature Golf on an 18-hole grass course, Beer tasting at Riverport Brewing Company, Granite Lake Park Greenbelt Walking Path.

Taste the suite side of life! When you check in to your King Junior Suite, you’ll find a lovely bottle of house wine and two wine glasses waiting for the start of your special stay. For later on, there’s a $50 gift certificate for use at Meriwether’s American Grille, The Exchange Lounge or MJ Barleyhopper’s – or perhaps room service is more in order. The Celebration Package for two at $179 + tax is available from Red Lion Hotel in Lewiston, Idaho.

The Clearwater Wine Dinner from Meriwether’s pairs five courses with five exceptional wines and might be just the add-on you’re looking for.

Within walking distance: Locomotive Park, Jackson Baldwin Falls, Lewiston Levee Parkway Trail, Lewis Clark & Sacagawea bronze statues by J. Shirly Bothum.

How about a romantic stay & play getaway alongside the Clearwater River? Open the door to your suite and your special someone will find a flower and bud vase with balloons on entering. After you get settled, there are two vouchers for dinner and a Casino March Play for each of you! The Romance Package for two at $ 169 + tax is available Clearwater River Casino in Lewiston, Idaho. 

 

If you come, don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see a picture or two of the favorite parts of your getaway! You can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page or give a shout on Twitter to @HellsCanyon.

Haunts and Halloween Fun in Hells Canyon

Autumn has landed in the Lewis-Clark Valley! This vivid change of seasons offers  beautiful, scenic walks through flaming foliage – along the Snake River levees and in the Idaho Department of Fish & Game Lewiston Wildlife Habitat Area.  And then … around almost every turn in town, there’s fun and fright for everyone of any age!

A number of haunted sites have sprung up, bringing with them a ghoulishly good time.

  • Nightmare On Grelle Avenue’s admission is $10 per person and a promises a serious turn of terror to those brave enough to enter the walls.
  • The Haunted House at Clarkston High School asks $3 for your first trip and $1 for any further trips through their hallways of horror.
  • The Haunted Hay Ride is $5 per carload and, once seated on the wagon, passengers should bundle up for a spooky ride through the shadowy twists and turns of Hells Gate State Park.
  • Ghost Tours of historic downtown Lewiston are offered by appointment and bring  you up close and personal with spirits from the past.

 

Trick or Treat Nights are planned for boo’s and ghoul’s of every age.

  • Main Street Trick or Treat in Beautiful Downtown Lewiston is free and open to the public of all ages and promises SAFE treats and activities.
  • Sixth Street Trick or Treat in historic downtown Clarkston is free and open to the public and invites everyone to enjoy contests and SAFE treats.

 

An a-maize-ing adventure is waiting for the whole family.

  • At the U of I Corn Maze, try your hand at finding your way through pathways in 11 acres of corn, shoot a pumpkin cannon – there’s more, including a hay bale maze for tiny ones. All for $5 per person.

 

Pumpkin fun for everyone.

  • Pumpkin Palooza celebrates all things pumpkin – music, food, fun, activities and more are waiting in Beautiful Downtown Lewiston where admission is free and open to the public.

 

Learn about these and other events from our October Calendar.

If you come, don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see what your autumn adventure was like and you can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page or give a shout on Twitter to @HellsCanyon.

 

Image property of JustinDeRosa

 

Three Local LC Valley Food Legends Hunted By World Series Players & Fans

What’s the most asked question I field when fans and families start rolling in to Lewiston, Idaho for the Avista NAIA World Series?  From across the nation, here it is:

“Where do we find Fazzari’s, Efffie’s and Strike & Spare?”

Apparently, they’ve all got directions to Harris Field before they get here.

These three local restaurants have risen to legendary heights with officials, players and traveling baseball fans. What’s all the fuss about? Half the draw is that these are foods you just can’t get anywhere else; oh sure, other towns have pizza, burgers and sandwiches, but not like these. The other half must have its roots in competition because there’s an awful lot of “I ate the whole thing” boasting going on when I catch up with those who’ve ventured into these wilds of LC Valley cuisine and emerged victorious.

  • Fazarri’s Finest Pizza
    Pizza.  From top to bottom, Fazzari’s has got it going on when it comes to pizza. Hand-tossed crust made daily to homemade sauces, and toppings loaded on in signature combinations – we hear it’s not a just a pizza. We hear it’s a pie to die for. Fazzari’s is located at 1281 Bridge Street in Clarkston, Washington; Directions.
  • Effie’s Tavern
    The Effie Burger.  It’s big.  Really, really big.  A full pound burger on an 8” bun with all the trimmings – lettuce, onion, tomato, cheese, pickles. Word on the street is that every baseball player through the door is on a mission to eat a whole burger, on his own. Many have tried, few have succeeded. Effie’s Tavern is located at 1120 Main Street in Lewiston, Idaho; Directions.
  • Strike & Spare
    The Cock & Bull Sandwich. Every day, the Strike & Spare roasts enough turkey and prime rib to feed a small army. Then, they do their best to pile all of it between two slices of Texas Toast and serve it up with homemade curly fries. This is not a sandwich for the faint of appetite but it’s worth every delicious bite – we suggest you consider splitting one with a friend. Strike & Spare is located at 244 Thain Road in Lewiston, Idaho; Directions.

Scott McClure, Manager of Championship Sports at NAIA says, “Much like baseball, hot dogs and apple pie (which gets “played” up big time on Memorial Day at Harris Field), it’s become tradition … to go to Fazzari’s for pizza and Effie’s for the burger.  I also make at least one trip to the Main Street Grill each year for great food and to look at all of the World Series stuff on the walls – it’s like a baseball museum at the Main Street.  Oh, don’t forget the ‘fry sauce.’  It must be an Idaho thing.  I like it.  We recently added a chain restaurant in Lawrence that has French fry sauce…it made me think of Lewiston and the Series!  I can’t wait to get back this week for a slice of Schotzy pizza, an Effie Burger, some fry sauce…and a trip to the Strike & Spare!”

We’d love to hear about where you “must eat” during the 2012 Avista NAIA World Series in the LC Valley this year –share your story with us on Facebook and while you’re at the games, give a shout to@HellsCanyon on Twitter, I’d love to say hi!

Memorial Day Memories at the Ballpark in the LC Valley

2011 NAIA World Series Opening CeremoniesDo you know what I remember about Memorial Day? I remember barbecues where the number of hotdogs I ate in a day defied FDA regulations. I remember block parties where everyone was welcome and I remember neighborhood baseball games that started as soon as the sun came up and lasted well into the starry night.

Times have changed a bit but I still love a good old fashioned Memorial Day weekend filled with baseball, and I know where to find one of the best this side of the Rockies.

Come May 25th, you’ll find me at Harris Field smack in the middle of the NAIA World Series baseball tournament and I’m not coming out until there’s a 2012 champion crowned. 10 teams from across the nation play 19 games over 7 days; on real dirt in a ballpark large enough to make the homerun bombs memorable and small enough that every seat lets me smell the cut green grass of the field.

Did I mention the $1 Hotdogs, Soda and Popcorn on Memorial Day?

Let’s do a spot check.

Full supply of hotdogs? Check. Lots of friendly faces? Check. Baseball worth the watch? Check and double check! What do you say? If you don’t have your Memorial Day set, plan a road trip to the LC Valley – and don’t forget your mitt … fly balls make great souvenirs!

We’d love to hear about the Memorial Day memories you make in the LC Valley this year – share your story with us on Facebook and while you’re at the games, give a shout to @HellsCanyon on Twitter and we can exchange game notes – I’ll be the one glued to my seat.

~image property of LMTribune.com

Spring Chinook Salmon Season Opens In The Lewis-Clark Valley

The 2012 Chinook Salmon Season is about to open with an estimated 83,600 adult hatchery origin fish expected to cross Lower Granite Dam into  the waters surrounding  the LC Valley at the north entrance to Hells Canyon.  It’s FISH ON!

These massive, ocean going fish are often so big that fishermen call them “hogs” and anglers from across the nation head our way each year for their chance at hooking into one of these legendary game fish.

Washington fisheries on the Snake River open April 25 and Idaho fisheries on the Clearwater and Snake Rivers open April 22.

Get a great deal on your Chinook salmon fishing adventure by checking out the Fisherman’s Specials for a hotel and book your charter from one of these licensed guides and outfitters in good standing with Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau.

Things to know if you go:

The Catch

  • Adult Chinook measure 24 inches or more
  • Jack Chinook measure under 24 inches and must be at least 12 inches to qualify for harvest.

Know Your Limits

  • Washington; All Chinook with an adipose fin must be released.Washington allows for a daily limit of 6 hatchery chinook, with a cap of 2 adults. Anglers must cease fishing when the adult limit has been retained for the day.
  • Idaho; All Chinook with an adipose fin must be released.On the Clearwater River drainage allows for a daily limit of 4 hatchery Chinook, with a cap of 2 adults.  Possession limit is 12, with a cap of 6 adults.On the Snake River from Dug Bar to Hells Canyon Dam, the lower Salmon and the Little Salmon rivers, the daily limit is four hatchery Chinook, only 2 may be adults. The possession limit is 12, with a cap of 6 adults.

Photographing Wild Chinook Salmon

  • In Washington, wild salmon must be unhooked and released without being removed from the water.  Have your camera ready for a quick image capture and keep the fish low to the water.
  • Idaho allows anglers a bit more leeway and lets fishermen remove wild fish from the water for photographing.  Remember to wet your hands before touching the fish. Use both hands to support the fish, over the water if possible, so that if the fish struggles free it doesn’t fall onto a hard surface such as rocks or a boat floor.

Get Licensed

If you come, don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see what your fishing adventure was like and you can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page.

~image property of HellsCanyonSportFishing.com

7 Awesome Things To Do Without Leaving Hells Gate State Park

When is a park not just a park? When it’s Hells Gate State Park! Read on to learn about the unexpected adventures that await you during a stay beside the Snake River in the LC Valley …

Camp out
Breakout the JiffyPop, S’mores and dutch ovens for a stay at any one of the 104 spots available within the tree covered slice of heaven that is Hells Gate State Park Campground. Wether you love RV, tent or cabin camping, Hells Gate has you covered!

Big Game Expedition
Come face to face with 65 mounted game heads from around the world and learn about one of North America’s most successful outdoor writers and hunting enthusiasts, Jack O’Connor, at The Jack O’Connor Hunting Heritage and Education Center.

Pedal Away the Day
Don a helmet, check the air in your tires and head out for a ride through the park. There are three camp loops to explore and any number of paved or dirt trails that wind all over the public green spaces on the grounds – guaranteed smiles for miles.

Explore the Corps
Grab a compass and head into the Lewis & Clark Discovery Center to meet Weetxuwiis and the Nez Perce, just like Lewis & Clark did over 150 years ago. Everyone can wander through 2 acres of outdoor exhibits at their own speed and the live stream with hidden animal sculptures and footprints is a great scavenger hunt.

Become a Jr. Ranger
Kids and families can suit up and become a resident expert on raptors, bees, flowers, bugs, birdwatching and a whole lot more during the totally free and totally fun 3-hour Jr. Ranger Programs inside the park. Learn more about the Jr. Ranger Program on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Events Tab on our Facebook Page.

Swim, Splash and Snorkle
Slap on the sunscreen and paddle around in the shallows or venture out into the deep end of the swimming area at the north end of the park.

Drop a Line
Kids 13 and younger don’t even need a license, so find a spot on the bank, bait your hook and you might just catch dinner!

If you come, don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see what adventures you had in the park and you can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page.

Free Family Fishing in the LC Valley

If the inevitable infection of Spring Fever among kids of all ages is threatening to break out in your home, we suggest getting to the LC Valley for a little outdoor recreation.  A road trip and fishing might be just what the doctor ordered.

What’s that?  You have no fishing equipment?  You don’t really know what you’re doing?  No worries! Getting the family outside to enjoy spring fishing in the LC Valley just got a lot less stressful and a lot more fun in 2013, thanks to Idaho Fish & Game’s Take Me Fishing Trailer.

The Take Me Fishing Trailer is fully stocked with fishing equipment that can be checked out for free, on a first-come, first-served basis and has friendly, knowledgeable IDFG staff who can get you started in no time.

Everyone, of any age is welcome to use the equipment.  While anglers 13 and under are always able to fish Idaho waters for free, anglers 14 and older will will be granted a permit to fish without a license.  You can get information on Idaho Resident and Non-resident licensing here.

From March through June, the trailer is making eight visits to Lewiston, Idaho, at two ponds this year.  Here’s a Google Map of Lewiston Take Me Fishing locations, so you can find the ponds easily.

  • March 30 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • April 6 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • April 7 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • April 14 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • April 20 at Lewiston Wildlife Habitat Area, from 10am-1pm
  • April 28 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • May 4 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • May 5 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • May 26 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • June 1 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • June 23 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm

What happens if your family gets hooked?  Come on back and fish again – maybe take a full-fledged fishing trip with one of the LC Valley’s fantastic guides.

If you come, check the weather and dress appropriately, bring something to drink and don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see your catch and you can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page.