• Nez Perce National Historical Park. Front Page banner photograph is of Heart of the Monster, an ancient place where the Nez Perce creation story originates. The secondary page photograph is of Nez Perce beadwork.

    Nez Perce

    National Historical Park ID,MT,OR,WA

Canoe Camp

Canoe Camp

Canoe Camp is where Lewis and Clark built the canoes that would take them to the Pacific Ocean.

Nez Perce National Historical Park

These grounds have been inhabited for thousands of years by the Nez Perce people, but are best known as the place where the Lewis and Clark Corps Of Discovery worked with the Nez Perce to carve the canoes that took them to the Pacific Ocean in 1805.

The Corps was unable to find enough food along the Lolo Trail, so by the time they got here, they were starving. At their first meal with the Nez Perce, they ate so much of the rich salmon and camas root that they were sick for days. Even in their weakened state and slowed by hot weather, they still managed to carve five canoes in twelve days.

As the Corps left for their journey to the Pacific, they cached their saddles and gear and left their horses here in the care of the Nez Perce until their return in the spring.

To read what Captains Lewis and Clark recorded in their journals, you can read it as a web page, MSWord document (26.5 kb) or as an Adobe pdf (18.6 kb).

Did You Know?

Petroglyph of Big Horn at Buffalo Eddy, a site of Nez Perce National Historical Park

The Nez Perce made hunting bows from the horn of the Big Horn Sheep, an animal that is native to their homeland.