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.
Did You Know?
In September of 1805 Lewis and Clark crossed into Nez Perce country. A debate ensued among the Nez Perce. Should they assist these strangers or attack them? A female Nez Perce elder, Wetxuuwíis (Wet-k'hoo-wees)urged her people to do them no harm. Her words were heeded; the expedition was welcomed.