Idaho September 04, 2018
This Historic Park Is One Of Idaho’s Best Kept Secrets
Few people realize that one of the most unique national parks in the country is located here in Idaho. The Nez Perce National Historical Park preserves an important time in Idaho history. It’s at this historic park that you can see incredible sites and artifacts from before the Gem State was even a state. This historic park is a great place for history buffs but anybody and everybody can find a reason to love this park. Visit this little-known side of Idaho for an adventure you’re bound to appreciate.
Spanning four states, the Nez Perce National Historical Park seeks to preserve a notable piece of Idaho history. The Nez Perce have called this region home for thousands of years and this historic park is a great place to explore and learn all about them.
The park does not follow the format of most national parks. It is composed of 38 individual sites that span over four states (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington). These sites are not linked by geography but rather they are linked by history.
A whopping 26 of the park's sites are located throughout northern Idaho, near or on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. If you plan it just right, you may be able to see all of them in just one day. There's a lot to see in this park and you'll want to cover every inch of it!
A great place to start is the Visitor Center located in Spalding, Idaho. This place provides the perfect introduction to the Nez Perce story. Here you'll find information about the rest of the sites, guidelines for visiting, and interpretive trails that will take you to the surrounding historical attractions.
Also inside the Visitor Center is a museum featuring a stunning collection of clothing, tools, weapons, and ceremonial objects. You'll find the Visitor Center just 11 miles east of Lewiston, off of U.S. Highway 95.
You'll soon discover that many of the park's sites are strongly associated with the resistance of Chief Joseph and his band who were involved with many skirmishes with the U.S. Calvary. The White Bird Battlefield is a notable stop, located just south of Grangevile. Here you'll find a viewpoint that looks out onto the battlefield and the rolling hills of Whitebird.
Located near Orofino is another fascinating site called Canoe Camp. This place is known for being the spot where the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery worked with the Nez Perce to carve the very same canoes that would take them to the Pacific Ocean in 1805.
A visit to the park isn't complete without a stop at the Weippe Prairie. This gorgeous prairie has always been a traditional gathering place for the Nez Perce, where families would come together to dig for camas bulbs, socialize, and worship. If the historical significance isn't enough, the unending beauty is bound to enchant you.
There's a ton to see throughout this incredibly historic park. We just highlighted a
few of the most notable spots. Explore a side of Idaho that goes back centuries when you visit the Nez Perce National Historical Park.
For more information about this fascinating park, you can visit the National Park Service website
Have you visited this historic park? It’s hard to believe more people don’t know about this amazing place! Check out our list of
10 Must-Visit Historical Landmarks In Idaho for more fascinating destinations that the history buff in you will love.