the area, recently
developed as a public park, commemorates the Lewis and Clark Expedition that
stopped here in 1804, and because it provides a mesmerizing view of the confluence
of the Kansas and Missouri
Rivers and the Kansas City skyline.
The Kansas River (which is also called the Kaw) begins at the
confluence of the Republican and Smoky Hill Rivers near Junction City
and flows 171 miles to Kansas City, where it joins the Missouri River.
The Kaw drains almost the entire northern half of Kansas, as well as
part of Nebraska and Colorado (53,000 square miles in all), and is the
longest prairie based river in the world. To see an excellent aerial picture of the confluence, click here.
THE MISSOURI RIVER The Missouri River is 2,533 miles long, making it the longest river in
North America (about 200 miles longer than the Mississippi River).
On May 14, 1804, President Jefferson sent Captain
Meriwether Lewis and Lt. William Clark, along with 41 men "to trace
the Missouri to its source, to cross the Highlands, and follow the best
water communication which offered itself from thence to the Pacific
The expedition arrived at Kaw's Point on June 26, 1804.
Kaw's Point is where the Kansas River runs into the Missouri River.
Kaw's Point, in 1804, was about 1/4 mile up the Missouri river from its
Lewis and Clark halted at the mouth of the Kansas for
three days. Lewis weighed the water of the two rivers and found the
Missouri's to be heavier, meaning it carried more mud. Still, Clark
found "the waters of the Kansas is verry disigreeably tasted to
Photo courtesy Friends of Kaw Point
KAW POINT PARK The
Lewis and Clark Historic Park at Kaw Point, a portion of the Lewis and
Clark Trail, has been preserved and enhanced through
trail enhancement, infrastructure restoration, signage, historical
interpretation, and visitor support services. Kaw Point provides
recreational and educational opportunities to residents of the
Kansas City metro area, and Lewis and Clark enthusiasts who travel the
DIRECTIONS I-70 East to 3rd Street/James Street exit 423B, then 3rd to Fairfax Trafficway following the Lewis and Clark signs to the Kaw Point sign at 1401 Fairfax Trafficway. Turn right at the truck driving school parking lot to the river.
Contact: Jennifer Tarwater, firstname.lastname@example.org.