Visit Bear Paw Battlefield

The Bear Paw Battlefield is the location of the final battle of the Nez Perce Flight of 1877. It was here on October 5th, 1877, after an 1,100 mile journey and only forty miles short of the Canadian border, that the Nez Perce laid down arms. Following this five-day battle and siege Chief Joseph gave his immortal speech, "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

This page should provide the information you need to plan your trip. If you have additional questions please call us at 406-357-3130 or contact us through email.

Wooden sign with  the National Park Service Arrowhead logo and the words "Nez Perce National Historical Park Bear Paw Battlefield" carved into it.
The sign at the entrance to the Bear Paw Battlefield on Route 240.

NPS photo

Getting to Bear Paw Battlefield

Bear Paw Battlefield is located on Route 240 just 16 miles south of the town of Chinook in north-central Montana.
Staff offices are located in town.


  • Battlefield Latitude/Longitude:
    48°22'40.35"N 109°12'48.07"W
  • Physical address for staff offices in Chinook, MT:
    301 Ohio Street
    Chinook, MT 59523

Driving to Bear Paw Battlefield

  • From I-15 at Shelby, MT: Take US HWY 2 for 123 miles east to Chinook, MT. Turn south on Cleveland Rd/Route 240 and drive 16 miles south to the battlefield.
  • From I-15 at Great Falls, MT: Take Highway 87 for 110 miles northeast to Havre, MT. Turn east on US 2 and travel 25 miles to Chinook, MT. Turn south on Cleveland Rd/Route 240 and drive 16 miles south to the battlefield.
  • From I-91 at Malta, MT: Take US 2 for 66 miles west to Chinook, MT. Turn south on Cleveland Rd/Route 240 and drive 16 miles south to the battlefield.

Nearby Airports

  • Great Falls International Airport is 155 miles southwest of the battlefield.
  • Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is 315 miles southwest of the battlefield.
  • Billings Logan International Airport is 215 miles south of the battlefield.
  • Glacier Park International Airport, near Kalispell, MT is 290 miles west of the battlefield.

Nearby Train Stations

An Amtrak station is located in Havre, MT, 38 miles northwest of the battlefield.

Nearby Bus Stations

A Greyhound Bus Station is located in Great Falls, MT, 151 miles southwest of the battlefield.

Public Transportation

Public transportation is not available. However, car rentals are available in each of the nearby communities with bus stations, train stations, and airports.

Operating Hours and Seasons

Bear Paw Battlefield is open from sunrise to sunset daily year-round.

Things to Do at Bear Paw Battlefield

Explore the Battlefield

A self-guided 1 ¼ mile interpretive trail winds through the battlefield. The trail is moderate in difficulty. A brochure/trail map can be downloaded, or a physical copy can be picked up at the battlefield, the staff offices in town, or at the Blaine County Museum. Picnic tables and vault toilets are available on-site. Please bring sun protection and plenty of water during your visit, especially during the summer months.

Battlefield Tours

Rangers are available on specific days during the summer season for guided tours of the battlefield. Please call ahead for an updated schedule.
Phone: (406) 357-3130

Nearby Amenities

  • The Blaine County Museum in Chinook, Montana, offers an audio/visual presentation, "40 Miles to Freedom," which depicts the battle and siege at Bear Paw. The battlefield's official brochure, map, and Jr. Ranger booklet are also available at the museum.
  • The Montana Office of Tourism's trip planning website will help you locate hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, and other amenities near Bear Paw Battlefield.

Respecting Sacred Ground

Burial sites are sacred to the Nez Perce. Please help us protect and respect the Bear Paw Battlefield.

  • Remain on the trails. Exact locations for all graves are not known, so the entire battlefield is treated as a sacred burial site.
  • Eat and prepare food and drinks in the picnic area.
  • Leave all items on monuments around the battlefield in place and undisturbed. The offerings that Nez Perce people leave in memory of their ancestors are sacred.
  • Pay homage to those who lost their lives here between dawn and dusk. The battlefield is closed after dark.
  • Report any damage or suspected violation to the National Park Service at (406) 689-3155 x 1029.

Fees, Permits, and Reservations

Recreational Activities

The general public does not need to pay entrance fees, make reservations, or obtain permits from the National Park Service for any recreational activities at Bear Paw Battlefield including hiking, picnicking, or attending ranger programs.

First Amendment Activities

As in all units of the National Park Service, First Amendment Activities are welcome here. The Designated First Amendment Area Bear Paw it is located near the restroom and picnic shelter.

First Amendment activities must not interfere with other permitted activities or regular park programing. Groups of less than 25 people are exempt from filing a permit request. Groups of 25 or more must contact the park superintendent to obtain a permit:
Phone: (208) 843-7001
Email: e-mail us

Commercial Film Permits

Permits are required for commercial operations wishing to film within the boundaries of Bear Paw Battlefield. Please contact the park superintendent to discuss your film idea and obtain a permit.
Phone: (208) 843-7001
Email: e-mail us

Research and Collection Permits

The National Park Service is interested in working with researchers from a wide variety of organizations. Please contact the park superintendent to discuss your project and obtain a permit.
Phone: (208) 843-7001
Email: e-mail us

Doing Business in the Park

Appropriate permits are required in order for individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations to provide any goods, activities, services, agreements, or other functions for members, clients, or the public that take place at least in part in Bear Paw Battlefield, that use park resources, and that result in compensation, monetary gain, benefit, or profit. Please contact the park superintendent to discuss your venture and obtain a permit.
Phone: (208) 843-7001
Email: e-mail us


For More Information

Official Bear Paw Battlefield Map and Brochure

The official brochure and map for Bear Paw Battlefield is available for download below. Alternative accessible formats can be provided upon request.

Nez Perce Trail Auto Tour

The staff at the Nez Perce National Historic Trail have developed auto tours with travel instructions for retracing the route of the Nez Perce along with maps, graphics, and details about the confilct at sites you can see along the way. Download Auto Tour 8 for more details about the Bear Paw Battle.

Painting of Nez Perce people in a snowy  landscape wit h foreboding clouds.
Bear Paw Battlefield History

From September 30 to October 5, 1877, the final battle of the Flight of 1877 took place just 40 miles south of the Canadian border.

Last updated: July 12, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Nez Perce National Historical Park
39063 US Hwy 95

Lapwai, ID 83540-9715


208 843-7001

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