Meriwether Lewis coined the name "Gates of the Mountains" while plying this portion of the Missouri with his party. At almost every bend in the waterway, the towering rock formations seemed to block their passage, only to magically open up as they drew closer. Visitors can have an experience similar to Lewis's through a boat tour of this scenic river on the Pirogue, the Sacajawea II, or the Hilger Rose. The 105-minute excursions take you through the mountain "gates," past prehistoric pictographs on the limestone rocks, to a picnic area where wildlife-viewing opportunities abound. You can choose to return on a later boat and take a hike into the nearby Gates of the Mountains Wilderness Area. There are also dinner cruises on many Friday nights; call for details.