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Lewis and Clark State Park, IA

Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
Max reservation window: Wed Oct 28 2015   Later Dates


Lewis and Clark State Park is an area full of history. The park is named for Meriwether Lewis, Secretary to President Thomas Jefferson, and Captain William Clark, United States Army, who were commissioned by President Jefferson in 1804 to head an expedition into the northwest to explore the vast territory purchased from France. With twenty-six men and supplies, Lewis and Clark led their expedition up the Missouri River from St. Louis by keelboat.

On August 9 and 10, 1804, Lewis and Clark spent time at the site where the state park is now. Please take the opportunity to view the full-size reproduction of Lewis and Clark's keelboat on display and constructed by local volunteers and park staff. Lewis and Clark State Park lies on the shores of Blue Lake, an ox-bow formed by the meanderings of the Missouri River many years ago.

Local Events/Attractions
The annual Lewis and Clark Festival is held in the park in June, celebrating the Lewis and Clark Expedition and reliving the lifestyle of that era. The festival features movies about the 1804 expedition, buck skinners in frontier dress, bluegrass music and historic presentations. The event also features contests and events for all ages and lots of living history.


Lewis and Clark State Park is a fine place for a leisurely hike. On the trails, park visitors can see a variety of trees, shrubs, and, often, wildlife including deer, rabbits and squirrels, as well as a wide variety of bird species.

Lake Activities
The 250 acres of Blue Lake offer a variety of water-oriented recreational opportunities. The beach is a fine place for sunbathing and swimming. One double boat ramp is available for easy lake access. No restrictions are placed on motor size.


Lewis and Clark is a very popular area for family picnics. The park has more than 30 acres of picnic grounds with tables, fire grills and drinking water. Two open picnic shelters are available for picnic use on a first-come/first-serve basis and may be rented through the park office.

The day-use lodge at Lewis and Clark is a fine place for group events such as wedding receptions and family reunions. The lodge was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The lodge may be reserved for a fee online.

The Lewis and Clark campground is a great place to spend a leisurely vacation in the outdoors. The campground features both electric and full hook-up sites (water and sewer) which lie along the lakeshore. Modern restrooms and showers are available, as is a trailer dump station.

Nearby Attractions:

Onawa is five miles east of the park on State Highway 175. Blencoe is five miles east and seven miles south on U.S. Highway 75. Turin is twelve miles east on State Highway 175. Sioux City is forty-one miles north on Interstate 29. Council Bluffs is sixty-five miles south on Interstate 29.

Services & Amenities:

Within Facility
  • Area Attraction
  • Boat Launch Ramp
  • Boating
  • Dump Station
  • Fish Cleaning Station
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Interpretive Display
  • Lake
  • Modern Restroom
  • Park Office
  • Parking
  • Playground
  • Seasonal Festivals
  • Showers
  • Swimming - Pool
  • Toilet, Pit/Vault
  • Trash Dumpster
  • Visitor Center
  • Water Hydrants
Within 10 Miles
  • Arboretum
  • Fuel, Boats
  • Fuel, Vehicles
  • Hospital
  • Medical Clinic
  • Motel
  • Nature Center
  • Town
Alerts and Important Information
Public hunting is available in the adjacent wildlife area.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
42.04194, -96.16778
42°2'31"N, 96°10'4"W

On I-29 take the 112th exit for Onawa, Iowa and turn west on Highway 175. Approximately 3 miles west, turn right on Park Loop and you will see signage for Lewis and Clark State Park.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Lewis and Clark State Park
21914 Park Loop
Onawa  IA  51040

Phone Number:

Information:  (712) 423 - 2829