Clark Canyon Reservoir Overlook
North Shore View
Welcome to the Clark Canyon Reservoir Picture Tour
After spending a night or two in the Medicine Lodge Valley and Beaverhead Mountains we reluctantly ride north on the Big Sheep Creek Backcountry Byway to the Clark Canyon Reservoir. As a courtesy, we included pictures of the campgrounds along the reservoir so you can plan your next campsite as you explore SW Montana. The name Cameahwait Campground was named after Shoshone chief, Cameahwait, brother of Sacajawea. As you can see from the pictures, if you want shade from the intense Summer sun while you fish or sail you will have to bring your own.
New Feature on the Landscape
Clark Canyon dam was completed in 1964. The harsh winters, high winds and a meager 12 inches of annual rain means being a deciduous shade tree out here is difficult. Finding a shaded campsite was a little bit easier for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The large island you see in the NE corner of the reservoir is near the location of “Camp Fortunate.” Where Captain Clark met up with Captain Lewis and Shoshone tribe members on August 17, 1805. If you would like to read about what happened to the Lemhi Pass Trail after Lewis and Clark left the area click here.
Spanning just under 5,000 acres, Clark Canyon Reservoir offers 17 miles of shoreline. While on the water, don’t be surprised if you meet fisherman from all over the west. Below the dam is the beginning of the Beaverhead River. The Beaverhead River is such a phenomenal and difficult trout stream to fish, that we are posting a separate picture tour of the Beaverhead River Fishing Access sites. For the most comprehensive and informative fly fishing reports for the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers check out the Sunrise Fly Shop website.
Modern Day Adventure
The Clark Canyon Reservoir is the site where many modern day adventurous souls began their journey retracing the path of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. We were fortunate to run into several people floating and hiking the trail. In particular we would like to mention Mr. Julian Wedgood, from the United Kingdom. Mr. Wedgood (picture below) launched his motorized canoe below the Clark Canyon Reservoir in the Spring of 2005. He had to fight barbwire, Spring snow storms, a capsized boat and high water as he made his way to St Louis, Missouri. If you know if he made a safe and successful journey please let us know, thank you!