Bearing Witness

On August 9, 1877 gun shots shattered a chilly dawn on a sleeping camp of Nez Perce. By the time the smoke cleared on August 10, almost 90 Nez Perce were dead along with 31 soldiers and volunteers. Big Hole National Battlefield was created to honor all who were there.

Several tepee poles in a meadow on a sunny day.

Big Hole National Battlefield History

On the morning of August 9, 1877, U.S. troops surprised the Nez Perce killing 60 to 90 Nez Perce men, women, and children.

Painting depicting soldiers and Nez Perce warriors during battle.

The Nez Perce Flight of 1877

In 1877, the non-treaty Nez Perce were forced on a 126-day journey that spanned over 1,170 miles and through four different states.

Nez Perce demonstrating

Upcoming Events Calendar

Check out what's happening in the park during your visit.

Male park ranger and four visitors on a forested trail.

Ranger Programs

Attend a guided tour of the battlefield, a ranger talk at the visitor center, or a special cultural demonstrator's program.

Appaloosa horse with traditional Nez Perce ceremonial garb.

Big Hole Commemoration

Due to the Trail Creek Fire, the park remains temporarily closed through the annual commemoration date.

Nez Perce man in full regalia riding an apaloosa horse.

Bear Paw Commemoration

Each year the Nez Perce host a commemoration to remember those who lost their lives at Bear Paw and pay tribute to those who survived.

Last updated: July 30, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 237
Wisdom, MT 59761


(406) 689-3155

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