Visitor Center

Fort Vancouver, Pearson Air Museum & Visitor Center Open during Fourth of July Celebration

The National Park Service welcomes you to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site to celebrate Independence Day! Due to the Independence Day celebration, visitors’ cars will not be permitted to enter or park in the park on Tuesday, July 4. However, all park facilities, including the Visitor Center, the reconstructed Fort Vancouver, and Pearson Air Museum, will be open to pedestrian access after visitors enter through one of the three security checked gates.

The park facilities will be open later than usual, with both Fort Vancouver and Pearson Air Museum operating from noon until 8 p.m. and the park’s Visitor Center and Bookstore open from noon to 5 p.m. The Friends of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will also be operating a sales tent area on E. 5th St. from noon to 8 p.m., adjacent to the main entry path to the fort. The usual fees will apply to enter the fort ($5 for adults, children 15 and under are free), while there is no fee to enter the Visitor Center or Pearson Air Museum.

National Park Service staff and volunteers will be dressed in period costumes throughout the reconstructed fort to help bring the site to life and present the lifeways of the 19th century fur trade. The Visitor Center and Pearson Air Museum will have exhibits and films available for viewing as well. Visitors can take a flight in a vintage 1930 bi-plane which will be operating from the taxiway adjacent to Pearson Air Museum. The operator, Nostalgic Warbird & Biplane Rides, piloted by Mike Carpentiero, will be operating throughout the day. For more information on the costs of bi-plane rides, visit nostalgicwarbirdrides.com or call 512-203-2341.

For more information about Independence Day at Fort Vancouver, produced by the Fort Vancouver National Trust, visit 4th.fortvan.org.

Gifford Pinchot at Fort Vancouver

Beginning Tuesday, March 1, Gifford Pinchot National Forest visitor services will be located with the National Park Service at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Visitor Center, 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd. The current Gifford Pinchot National Forest headquarters location at 10600 N.E. 51st Circle will be closed to the public.

By partnering with the National Park Service, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest will be able to reach more visitors and provide enhanced customer service through extended hours: Tuesday through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can plan trips to the forest, purchase federal recreation passes, and explore the national park from the same location.

…and if you haven’t yet visited the beautifully remodeled Visitor Center, well, there’s no time like the present! The Visitor Center reopened in November with a new front entrance, which now includes a large covered area. The interior houses interactive exhibits for adults and children, a state-of-the-art community and educational room, enhanced visitor amenities, and a bookstore and expanded gift shop, which will be operated by the nonprofit Friends of Fort Vancouver. You can also see (or purchase!) the distinctive artwork and jewelry of internationally acclaimed American Indian artist Lillian Pitt, along with several pieces by Northwest artist and local resident Anne John.

Fort Vancouver Visitor Center Grand Re-Opening Celebration

The much-anticipated grand re-opening of the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center at 1501 E Evergreen Blvd. is happening from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14. This free event will provide the public with their first look inside the remodeled 1961 facility, which has been closed for over a year during renovations. There will be complimentary refreshments and live music by the Vancouver Community Concert Band. This grand opening coincides with the kickoff of the National Park Service‘s Centennial celebrations, and updates the facility to better serve the local community, visitors , and educational groups.

The most visible change to the building is its front entrance, which now includes a large covered area. The interior houses new interactive exhibits for adults and children, a state-of-the-art community and educational room, enhanced visitor amenities, and a bookstore and expanded gift shop, which will be operated by the nonprofit Friends of Fort Vancouver. (The gift shop is rumored to be even BETTER than the previous shop, which was already pretty good, and it’s an excellent place to get started on your Christmas shopping with excellent Northwest-themed gifts.)

A special feature of the building’s interior will be the distinctive work of internationally acclaimed American Indian artist Lillian Pitt. A collection of Pitt’s sculpted masks will be on permanent display at the Visitor Center, and a wide range of her artwork and jewelry will be available for purchase in the bookstore. Also on permanent display will be several pieces by well-known Northwest artist and local resident Anne John.

Visitor Center Grand Re-opening

The much-anticipated grand re-opening of the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center at 1501 E Evergreen Blvd. is happening from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14. This free event will provide the public with their first look inside the remodeled 1961 facility, which has been closed for over a year during renovations. There will be complimentary refreshments and live music by the Vancouver Community Concert Band. This grand opening coincides with the kickoff of the National Park Service‘s Centennial celebrations, and updates the facility to better serve the local community, visitors , and educational groups.

The most visible change to the building is its front entrance, which now includes a large covered area. The interior houses new interactive exhibits for adults and children, a state-of-the-art community and educational room, enhanced visitor amenities, and a bookstore and expanded gift shop, which will be operated by the nonprofit Friends of Fort Vancouver. (The gift shop is rumored to be even BETTER than the previous shop, which was already pretty good, and it’s an excellent place to get started on your Christmas shopping with excellent Northwest-themed gifts.)

A special feature of the building’s interior will be the distinctive work of internationally acclaimed American Indian artist Lillian Pitt. A collection of Pitt’s sculpted masks will be on permanent display at the Visitor Center, and a wide range of her artwork and jewelry will be available for purchase in the bookstore. Also on permanent display will be several pieces by well-known Northwest artist and local resident Anne John.

Above image: ceramic masks by local artist Lillian Pitt, on display at the Visitor Center. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service at Fort Vancouver.