Clarkston's downtown 2009.

Clarkston is a city in Asotin County in the southeastern part of Washington. It is part of the Lewiston ID-WA Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 7,337 in 2000. Clarkston is located about five miles north of the county seat, Asotin

In 1993, Walla Walla Community College opened a Branch Campus in Clarkston that serves the surrounding area, Lewiston, Idaho. It is still a major draw for the surrounding area. Lewiston, Idaho has over 30,000 people.

With a ZIP code of 99403, Clarkston has the highest zip code of any area in the contiguous United States.



Clarkston during the 1950's.

Clarkston was officially incorporated on August 14, 1902. Before becoming an official town, the area was called Jawbone Flats. The name Clarkston is a reference to William Clark, of Lewis and Clark fame. Lewiston, across the Idaho state line from Clarkston, is named for Meriwether Lewis, and is the larger and older of the two cities (founded in 1861.)

On July 18, 1896, a newly constructed canal began providing water to Jawbone Flats, and the effect it had on the area was remarkable: Population of the area that would soon become Clarkston boomed from perhaps 15 people in 1896 to approximately 2,200 in the Clarkston-Vineland area in 1903. (Vineland, a community just west of Clarkston, merged with Clarkston shortly after 1903).


Clarkston during the 1960's.

Clarkston's growth was further aided by the opening of the Lewiston-Clarkston Bridge on June 24, 1899, which connected Clarkston to Lewiston, Idaho. The first Clarkston settlers wanted to name the new town Lewiston, and applied for a post office with that name. The United States Postal Department rejected the request, reasoning that Lewiston, Washington, would cause too much confusion with Lewiston, Idaho, just across the Snake River. Thus in 1897 the town was officially named Concord (after Concord, Massachusetts), but by 1900 the post office had changed its name to Clarkston. In 1901 the legislature made the name change official, and Clarkston was incorporated on August 4, 1902.

The irrigation of Jawbone Flat and the subsequent rapid growth in the early years of the twentieth century of a wide variety of fruit and berry orchards and vegetable farms in this newly irrigated region had a profound effect on Asotin County. Whereas during the last two decades of the nineteenth century most of the county's growth had been in or near the town of Asotin, Asotin and Anatone both peaked in their population growth shortly after 1900 and -- with some fluctuations -- both towns have remained relatively stationary in population since, with Asotin averaging near 1,000 and Anatone about 100. Clarkston meanwhile quickly grew to a population of 6,209 in 1960 and 7,337 in 2000.

Geography Edit

Clarkston is in the Lewis-Clark Valley, at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.3 km²), of which, 1.9 square miles (5.0 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (4.93%) is water.

Clarkston is 87 miles from Spokane and nearly 200 miles from Boise, Idaho. The city is 262 miles from Seattle. Clarkston has two suburb communities. They are Clarkston Heights-Vineland and West Clarkston-Highland.

North of Clarkston is Uniontown. West Clarkston-Highland is to the west followed by Silcott and Alpowa. To the east across the Snake River is Lewiston, Idaho. South is Clarkston Heights-Vineland followed by Asotin.

Climate Edit

Clarkston's climate is warm during summer when temperatures tend to be in the 70's to 80's and very cold during winter when temperatures tend to be in the 30's.

The warmest month of the year is July with an average maximum temperature of 87.60 degrees Fahrenheit, while the coldest month of the year is January with an average minimum temperature of 28.00 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperature variations between night and day tend to be moderate during summer with a difference that can reach 28 degrees Fahrenheit, and fairly limited during winter with an average difference of 13 degrees Fahrenheit.

The annual average precipitation at Clarkston is 12.74 Inches. Rainfall in is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. The wettest month of the year is May with an average rainfall of 1.56 Inches.



Clarkston and all of Asotin County have no daily newspaper. Local media comes through the Lewiston Tribune, in Idaho.


Local television news comes from stations in Lewiston.

  • K49EV



Clarkston has the Tri-State Memorial Hospital serving the city and county. Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center is located in Lewiston, Idaho across the river.


Clarkston has the Clarkston Police Department.

The Asotin County Sheriff's Office also patrols the area.


The Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport is located in Lewiston, Idaho across the river from Clarkston.

Amtrak has a rail station as well in Lewiston.

Port of ClarkstonEdit

The Port Of Clarkston is home to one of the largest cranes on a navigable waterway east of Portland. Agriculture is a major industry in the area and the port handles a lot of barge traffic carrying grains. The paper company Clearwater Paper Corporation transports wood chips and sawdust via barges for use at a Lewiston manufacturing plant. Due to its inland location on the Snake River, the port handles goods headed out to Portland-Vancouver, and inland to distributors upstream.

The port's marina has accommodations for personal boats and yachts, many of which travel through the nearby Hells Canyon.