Lewis And Clark Campsite 1805-09-09(P)-28

Steve F. Russell

This campsite is well know to the Lewis and Clark Trail community. It was a popular camping place for Salish, Nez Perce, and early Explorers. The location was at the junction of the Lolo Trail (from Lolo, Montana to Kamiah, Idaho) with the 1806 Bitterroot Trail (from Missoula, Montana to Gibbon’s Pass). The Corps of Discovery was camped there a total of 5 days in 1805-06.

The campsite was originally thought to be near the mouth of Lolo Creek (as interpreted by an old highway marker on US 93) but all the Journal evidence from 1805-06 and the Nicholson survey of 1866 placed it at, or near, the location given in this report. In recent years the interpreted location has been moved to its present location, and is interpreted by the Travelers Rest State Park. Despite archeological digs, the location is still debated, although the location most researchers have identified are within 1000 feet of each other – very good agreement when locating historic campsites. This author’s most current research placed the camp on a dry bench-land adjacent to the creek, and on the south side.

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