• 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

Weis Rockshelter

Weis Rockshelter

More than 8,000 years ago the ancestors of the Nez Perce first made this rock shelter their home. This small shelter is located near Cottonwood, Idaho and is close to the Salmon River, making it an ideal location because its proximity to major food sources and transportation routes. The shelter is not a cave, but a small niche in a wall of basalt. The shelter was continuously inhabited until about 600 years ago.

From 1961 to 1963, archeological excavations under the direction of Idaho State University archeologist B. Robert Butler were conducted here. These excavations were some of the first professional archeological work ever completed in Nez Perce country.

Did You Know?

Canoe Camp. At the end of September, 1805, the expedition built canoes here for the last leg of their journey to the Pacific.

Nez Perce National Historical Park has three sites used by the Lewis and Clark expedition - the Weippe Prairie (1805), Canoe Camp (1805), and Long Camp (1806). The Lolo Trail, the ancient travel route used by the expedition in 1805 and 06 is also included as a park site.