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Pacific Northwest

American Pathways National Cultural Heritage Itinerary

Many people are not aware that with the great westward migration of pioneers on the Oregon Trail, much of the land was already occupied. Many nations of Native Americans were already living in what was to become Oregon, in already-established villages, hunting, fishing and sacred grounds. With the arrival of the white settlers, tribes had to deal with the onset of diseases, capricious land grabs, boarding schools and the loss of their communities, culture, traditions and language. But today, a rebirth is giving hope to the people of these nations, and this itinerary is to provide travelers with the opportunity to explore the Native American perspective, in tribal members' own voices.

Great value inclusions:

  • 7 nights, 3-star accommodations
  • Round-trip luxury motorcoach transportation
  • Porterage for one suitcase
  • Professional tour guide
  • Breakfast each day plus two dinners and one lunch
  • Portland city tour
  • Oregon History Center
  • Pendleton Woolen Mills factory store
  • Fort Vancouver
  • Maryhill Museum
  • Astoria Column and Fort Clatsop
  • Kah-Nee-Ta Resort and Warm Springs Museum
  • Baker City Interpretive Center
  • Lava Lands National Monument
  • John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
  • High Desert Museum

Day 1 - Portland 
Arrive in Portland for an afternoon tour of this beautiful city. A visit to the Oregon History Center will begin your tour with an overview of the land that originally belonged to the Native Peoples. This evening, enjoy a wonderful jet boat adventure on the Willamette River highlighted with an authentic salmon bake dinner. (Overnight in Portland)

Day 2 - Fort Vancouver
Fort Vancouver Your morning starts with a visit to Fort Vancouver, the original site of the Hudson's Bay Fur Trading Company, outpost and administrative headquarters for the Oregon Territory. The fort was the center of trade with the Native Peoples and includes a store where animal furs were traded for white man's goods.

You'll stop at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center where you will see a life-size model of fishing scaffolding and other artifacts of this area. Cross the river at the present-day man-made Bridge of the Gods and view the Native American salmon scaffolds stretching out from the river banks where the fish are caught. 

Arrive at Maryhill Museum of Art which houses one of the largest collections of Native People basketry. A stop at the Bonneville Dam Visitors Center will allow you to view salmon through observation windows as they swim upstream through fish ladders to spawn. (Overnight in Portland)

Day 3 - Astoria and the Blue Pacific
Astoria Bridge Follow the road along the Columbia River to arrive in Astoria, Oregon which was named after John Jacob Astor and the fur trading post he established. Visit Astoria Column and a memorial to Chief Comcomly of the Chinooks who extended special hospitality to Lewis and Clark. 

A stop at Ft. Clatsop National Memorial will give a complete story of the Lewis and Clark explorations of 1805-06. If it wasn't for the Chinook and Clatsop tribes' gracious hospitality here, the Lewis and Clark expedition could not have returned home. (Overnight in Astoria)

Day 4 - Kah-Nee-Ta Resort and Pendleton
Your tour departs this morning for Eastern Oregon to see and experience other tribal history and traditions. Drive through the Cascade Mountains to Kah-Nee-Ta Resort and the Museum at Warm Springs, featuring dwellings, songs, language, history and traditions of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs.  Your excursion continues to Pendleton where we visit the Umatilla tribal Tamastslikt Interpretive Center to learn of perspectives of the Oregon Trail emigration and homesteading, which left many tribes landless and homeless. However, you will also find out about the rebirth and resurgence of the tribes and their traditions today. (Overnight in Pendleton)

Day 5 - Enterprise, Chief Joseph and LaGrande
Our destination today is the Chief Joseph Memorial. The final resting place of the famous chief, after he vowed to "fight no more forever", is in the peaceful valley of Wallowa Lake in the Wallowa Mountains of eastern Oregon. A visit to the wonderful Valley Bronze of Oregon where special pieces of western art are created will give you an appreciation of the monumental castings and fine art sculptures created in this area. (Overnight in LaGrande)

Day 6 - Baker City to Bend
Travel to Baker City this morning, for a stop at the well-known Interpretive Center dedicated to the pioneers of the Oregon Trail. Then turn westward to the section of Oregon that covers 14,000 acres of high desert in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.  (Overnight in Bend)

Day 7 - Bend
Visit the Lava Lands National Monument and the High Desert Museum. The museum is a critically-acclaimed facility featuring the newly opened Hall of Plateau Indians. It provides an intimate insight into the lives and issues that affect Native Peoples today. Interactive exhibits provide learning opportunities for visitors. This is not to be missed! Dinner is included this evening. (Overnight in Bend)

Day 8 - Portland and home
Your circle is complete as you return to Portland today. Drive through Sisters, a restored Western-flavored town, climb into the Cascade mountains once more and head northward. Journey through Salem, the capitol of Oregon, and arrive in Portland early afternoon, having gained new insights to the Native American culture of the Pacific Northwest.

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