Dug Bar is the site where Chief Joseph band's of nimí·pu· (Nez Perce) forded the Snake River on May 31, 1877 while complying with the U.S. government's demand to leave their homeland in the Wallowa Valley of northeastern Oregon and to move onto the smaller Nez Perce Reservation near Lapwai, Idaho.
This page provides the information you need to plan your trip.
Getting to Dug Bar
Dug Bar is an affiliated site of the Nez Perce National Historical Park that is located within the boundaries of Hell's Canyon National Recreation Area and co-managed by the U. S. Forest Service and the National Park Service. It is located approximately 31 miles north of Imnaha, Oregon.
Driving to Dug Bar
From Imnaha, Oregon, head north on Lower Imnaha Road/County Road 755 for 6.5 miles. As the road continues it becomes Forest Road 4260/Dug Bar Road. Continue on Forest Road 4260 for 24 miles along the Snake River to the Dug Bar Boat Launch and Trailhead.
Taking a Boat to Dug Bar
Dug Bar can also be accessed via jet boat or float trip on the Snake River. There are various Snake River outfitters that can be contacted for additional information on river boat tours.
Things to Do at Dug Bar
Explore the Site
The flat bench above the river contains historical ranching structures dating from the early 20th century and numerous archeological resources. Amenities include a boat launch that has a small concrete ramp, a vault toilet, and interpretive signage about the Nez Perce Flight of 1877.
Follow in the Footsteps of the nimí·pu·
The five mile long Trail 1727 that streches between Dug Bar and Forest Road 4260 allows hikers and horseback riders to follow in the footsteps of Chief Joseph and his people.
Other recreational activities available at Dug Bar including boating, fishing, camping, and hunting.
The Hells Canyon Creek Visitor Center is located below Hells Canyon Dam, approximately 133 road miles south of Dug Bar. It is open seasonally spring through late summer, and offers indoor and outdoor interpretive exhibits and programs, hiking trails, scenic views of Hells Canyon, picnic tables, toilets, and parking.
In addition, the Idaho Department of Commerce has a trip planning website for the state of Idaho and the Travel Oregon has a trip planning website for the state of Oregon that will help you locate hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, and other amenities near Dug Bar.
Staying Safe at Dug Bar
The dirt road to Dug Bar is steep, narrow, and only appropriate for high clearance, 4 wheel drive vehicles. Wet or snowy conditions can make this road hazardous. In the summer temperatures can exceed 100° F, so bring plenty of food and water.
Nez Perce Trail Auto Tour
The Nez Perce National Historic Trail has developed auto tours with travel instructions for retracing the 1877 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 1 for more details about the what occurred at Dug Bar and other early events in the Nez Perce Flight of 1877, or email us to receive a free printed copy.