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.
Getting to Bear Paw Battlefield
Bear Paw is located on Route 240 sixteen miles south of the town of Chinook in north-central Montana. Staff offices are located in town.
Driving to Bear Paw Battlefield
Nearby Train Stations
Nearby Bus Stations
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 the Blaine County Museum. Picnic tables and vault toilets are available on site. Please bring a hat and plenty of water during the hotter summer months.
Rangers are available on site in the summer months to offer guided tours of the battlefield.
Respecting Sacred Ground
Burial sites are sacred to the Nez Perce. Please help us protect and respect the Bear Paw Battlefield.
Fees, Permits, and Reservations
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last updated: December 17, 2021