Lewis and Clark Today Logo

On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The Expedition concludes its northern trek up the Bitterroot valley at Lolo Creek in present Montana. The Captains name the camp Travelers' Rest. Their Indian guide tells them of a 4-day long trail that leads to the Great Falls from here.

Set out at 7 A M. this morning and proceeded down the Flathead river leaving it on our left, the country in the valley of this river is generally a prarie and from five to 6 miles wide

Meriwether Lewis

Bitterroot Valley sunrise

Broad valley at sunrise

we camped on the bank of a creek which runs in to the Small River

John Ordway

we called this Creek Travellers rest.

Meriwether Lewis

Travelers' Rest

Small field with trees showing path of Lolo creek

just as we were seting out Drewyer arrived with two deer.

Meriwether Lewis


Doe and two fawns in riparian forest

near the wartercourses we find a small proportion of the narrow leafed cottonwood some redwood honeysuckle and rosebushes form the scant proportion of underbrush to be seen.

Meriwether Lewis

Honeysuckle, Lonicera sp.

Bright red berries joined to make twins

it is hear a handsome stream about 100 yards wide and affords a considerable quantity of very clear water, the banks are low and it's bed entirely gravel. the stream appears navigable, but from the circumstance of their being no sammon in it I believe that there must be a considerable fall in it below.

Meriwether Lewis

Bitterroot River

Blue sky, blue river, and sharp mountain peak in background

we called this Creek Travellers rest. it is about 20 yards wide a fine bould clear runing stream

Meriwether Lewis

Lolo Creek at Travelers' Rest

the land through which we passed is but indifferent a could white gravley soil.

Meriwether Lewis

Bitterroot Valley soil

Bank of poor stoney, white soil

we find wild or choke cherries along the branches.

Joseph Whitehouse

Chokecherry, Prunus virginiana

Bright red berries and green leaves

two of our hunters have arrived, one of them brought with him a redheaded woodpecker of the large kind common to the U States. this is the first of the kind I have seen since I left the Illinois.

Meriwether Lewis

Pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus

Dark bird with bright, red head and long beak in a tree

Photo created by the U.S. National Park Service.