15 Best Things to Do in Clarkston, WA

Clarkston, WA
Virrage Images / shutterstock.com

The City of Clarkston in Washington is part of the historic Lewis and Clark Valley.

This area traces its roots to the Nez Perce, the Native American tribe that originally inhabited the valley.

Clarkston’s origin dates back to the late 1890s.

In 1900, it received its current name from renowned explorer William Clark of the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Clarkston belongs to a significant cultural hub in the inland Pacific Northwest.

It provides urban access to Snake River and the many outdoor recreational sites nearby.

The city also serves as a gateway to the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, North America’s deepest gorge.

Here are the best things to do in Clarkston, Washington:

Tour the Snake River with Beamers Hells Canyon Tours

Aerial view of Snake River
Virrage Images / Shutterstock.com

Cruise the Snake River on a jet boat while learning about its history and significance in the valley.

The Snake River flows through Hells Canyon, the deepest gorge in North America.

See eagles and the abundant wildlife roaming on the riverbanks.

Boat cruising down Snake River
Steve Smith / Shutterstock.com

Whether you’re in for a full day of adventure or only have a few hours to see the river, tour providers in Clarkston have something to suit you.

You can even have lunch at the riverside.

Beamers Hells Canyon Tours and Snake Dancer Excursions, located in Port Drive, offer various jet boat tours on the Snake River.

See Native Flora at the Granite Lake Park

Enjoy a relaxing day at Granite Lake Park at Port Way.

The park sits just along the side of the Snake River, offering incredible views of the northern valley hills.

Stroll around and see the indigenous plants that adorn the six-acre park.

In the early 1800s, Lewis and Clark identified some of these plants during their expedition.

Relax and enjoy the scenery while having a snack at picnic tables.

The Granite Lake Park also hosts events such as the Lewis-Clark Valley RiverFest.

Explore the Local Art Scene at the Valley Art Center

Visit the Valley Art Center on Sixth St. and check out the local art scene.

The Valley Art Center is an exhibition gallery established in 1965 that promotes local artists.

Each month, the center features new artists.

Browse the gallery for original artwork you can display at home.

You might also find the perfect artisan piece to gift to someone.

The Valley Art Center also offers art workshops and classes for kids and adults throughout the year.

Set up Camp at Chief Timothy Park

Chief Timothy Park is a small island along the Lewis and Clark trail.

Accessible via US-12, this island west of Clarkston is an excellent place to camp and enjoy nature.

You can pitch a tent or stay at a cabin.

Stroll along the shoreline and bask in its peaceful atmosphere.

You can also take a cool splash at the designated swim beach.

Facilities are also available if you’re coming in an RV.

Chief Timothy Park is also home to the Listening Circle, a stunning basalt amphitheater inspired by a Nez Perce traditional ceremony.

Tour Basalt Cellars

Take a tour of Basalt Cellars and taste award-winning wine.

Founded in 2003, this boutique winery produces premium wine from grapes in the Columbia Valley and local estates.

The winery produces small batches of handcrafted wine, mixing traditional and modern winemaking techniques.

Get a bottle or two to take home and keep ready for a celebration.

Check out their gift boxes, which pair their wine with food and other items.

Basalt Cellars is at Port Drive.

Take a Splash at Asotin County Family Aquatic Center

Head to the Asotin County Family Aquatic Center for some time at the pool.

Soak up the sun at the lagoon waterpark and enjoy the exciting water slides.

The outdoor adventure pool for kids is a great splash area for your little ones.

An indoor recreation area also features lap pools, a kids’ play area, and heated wading pools.

Relax in the hot tub and enjoy a soak in the warm, soothing water perfect for rejuvenation after a day of Clarkston sightseeing.

Get pizza and soda at the concession area to refuel.

You can find the Asotin County Family Aquatic Center along Dustan Loop.

Enjoy a Barbecue at Beachview Park

Visit Beachview Park on 2nd St. for a fun afternoon getaway with the family.

The park is Clarkston’s largest, with three covered picnic sites, two play areas, and lush green spaces.

It has a lot of space for activities, such as skating and basketball.

One of the picnic areas has several barbecues, which are great for a family cookout.

Take a stroll to the park's east edge for great views of the Snake River and its surrounding hills.

Beachview Park is also home to a permanent monument to Chief Timothy, a renowned leader of the Nez Perce.

Try Local Craft Beer at Riverport Brewing Company

Enjoy a pint of local craft at Riverport Brewing Company’s taproom on 9th St.

Try one of their signature year-round American ales.

Otherwise, you can go for the more distinct seasonal brew.

Unwind and enjoy the laidback atmosphere with live music from local talents.

Drop by on trivia night and have competitive fun with friends and other brewery patrons.

The taproom is also a good spot for catching the big games.

Riverport Brewing Company also offers outdoor dining at the bar deck, great for summer night drinks.

Play Golf at Red Wolf Golf Club

If you’re looking for some tee time, head to Red Wolf Golf Club at Elm St.

Red Wolf’s beautiful 18-hole course sits adjacent to the Snake River.

Thanks to Clarkston’s suitable elevation, the course is open to the public for year-round golfing.

The course is easy to walk, so go for a round and enjoy the picturesque tree-lined fairways.

They also serve lunch, so check out their menu of sandwiches and burgers.

Red Wolf Golf Club hosts various leagues and tournaments, including championship games.

Shop at Clarkston Farmers Market

Visit Clarkston Farmers Market downtown for fresh produce, a quick snack, and entertainment.

Clarkston Farmers Market advocates the farm-to-table experience, allowing shoppers to enjoy fresh local produce at the best prices.

Check out the food stalls for a snack to munch on while exploring the market.

Browse the booths for handmade trinkets, vintage pieces, local art, and craft goods.

Enjoy the great atmosphere with music and entertainment.

They also host kids’ activities, so your little ones can enjoy the market experience.

You can find the Clarkston Farmers Market at Beachview Park.

Enjoy Wine Tasting at Parejas Cellars Boutique Winery

Visit the downtown Clarkston area and enjoy a lovely selection of wines at Parejas Cellars Boutique Winery.

Housed inside the historic Billups building on Sixth St., the Parejas Cellars Boutique Winery’s laid-back space is perfect for relaxing with family and friends.

Enjoy your wine with their small-plate appetizers.

However, the winery also encourages visitors to sample food from the local restaurants.

Local artists play music several nights a week.

The boutique winery, which produces wine from Spanish grape varieties, also offers scheduled private wine tastings.

Parejas Cellars Boutique Winery also showcases local artworks and holds food and wine appreciation classes throughout the year.

Feed the Ducks at Swallows Park

Swallows Park is a waterfront recreation area on the Snake River.

The 64-acre park has spots ideal for family picnic outings and barbecues on sunny days.

There are playground areas and many open green spaces for kids to play.

Watch flocks of ducks gracefully move across the river or go and feed them.

The park has a four-lane boat launch if you go on the waters instead.

The park also has access to the Clearwater-Snake River National Recreational Trail if you want to explore other recreational areas along the Snake and Clearwater Rivers.

You can reach Swallows Park via Highway 129.

Go Snake River Fishing with Reel Time Fishing

Fishing on the Snake River is another Clarkston adventure you shouldn’t miss.

Find a guide and book a trip to ensure an excellent fishing experience.

Catch bass and trout on summer and spring trips.

Whether you’re new to fishing or a seasoned angler, Snake River has some of the best fishing spots.

There are several fishing guide services you can choose from, so check which of them can cater to your fishing needs.

Reel Time Fishing on Critchfield Road and Steel Dreams Fishing operate guided trips to the Snake River out of Clarkston.

Bowl at Lancer Lanes and Casino

Aim for an afternoon of strikes at the Lancer Lanes and Casino at Bridge Street.

This fun center features 16 lanes of bowling, which is great for games with family and friends.

Get classic burgers and fries from their cafe to power up your game.

The sports bar has a full bar, ready to serve you an ice-cold beer or your favorite thirst quencher after a game.

There’s also a tiny classic arcade where you can play at the machines.

You can even redeem prizes!

If you’re feeling lucky, go on a round of poker at the casino.

Enjoy a night out with friends at Lancer Lanes and Casino!

Practice Your Swing at Dave’s Golf Shop

Are you looking to improve your swing?

Visit Dave’s Golf Shop at Port Way and spend time at the driving range.

Their premier outdoor driving range has many features, like self-serve ball dispensers you can pay using a credit card.

If you want professional instruction, you could also take an hour lesson with one of their instructors.

Check out their store for a large selection of apparel and training equipment.

Dave’s Golf Shop also sells used clubs, which you can test at the driving range.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore Hells Gate State Park

Head to Lewiston, Idaho, to explore the stunning natural features and fascinating history of Hells Gate State Park.

It’s only eight minutes from Clarkston.

The park boasts incredible scenery of lush fields and unique geologic features.

Marvel at the stunning basaltic columns lining the river’s edge, which are traces of lava flows millions of years ago.

See remnants of Nez Perce village pit houses around the park grounds.

Choose an adventure, from hiking, and bird watching, to boating and swimming.

It also offers accommodation options, including sites for RVs.

The park is also home to the Lewis & Clark Discovery Center, established to commemorate the expedition’s 200th anniversary.

From downtown Clarkston, Hells Gate State Park is about a four-mile drive across Snake River via Southway Bridge.

Explore the Nez Perce County Historical Society & Museum

Learn more stories about the region’s rich past at the Nez Perce County Historical Museum in Lewiston, Idaho.

It’s only a three-minute trip from Clarkston.

Take a glimpse into the traditional life of the Nez Perce through the fascinating display of artifacts.

Join a guided tour of the outdoor exhibits, such as the Heritage House and the Territorial Capitol replica.

They also have interactive activities for children to appreciate history.

Stop by the museum store for history books and local artwork.

Check out handmade jewelry and trinkets perfect for a souvenir.

The museum is just a mile’s drive from downtown Clarkston via Bridge St. over the Snake River to the Idaho side.

Final Thoughts

Steeped in history and blessed with scenic landscapes, Clarkston is an excellent destination for recreation and exploration.

Clarkston boasts some of the best things to do in the valley, home to open parks, a great winery, historical spots, and excellent access to Snake River.

Book your trip today and discover the best things to do in Clarkston!