On November 18, 1805, William Clark took a contingent of ten men and left Station Camp as soon as daylight came, heading down the shore on a reconnaissance trip. Several miles down, he describes passing what is today known as Yellow Bluff, writing:
“4 Miles to a Small rock island in a deep nitch passed a nitch at2 miles in which there is a dreen from Some ponds back, theland low opposite this nitch a bluff of yellow Clay and SoftStone from the river to the Comencement of this nitch be-low the Country rises to high hills of about 80 or 90 feet above the water—”
Visitors can still visit this location today, although much of Yellow Bluff is now covered by vegetation. Should you care to visit, it’s relatively easy to find. If you’re entering Ilwaco from the east, follow Highway 101 until it merges with Spruce Street, then make a left turn onto Eliza Avenue SE, then another left onto Lake Street SE. Follow Lake Street to the town’s City Park, and park alongside it on the riverside of the playground. From there, it’s a short walk to the Columbia River. Head northeast along the shoreline, and you find yourself at the base of Yellow Bluff.