Walk In The Footsteps Of Lewis & Clark At Travelers' Rest State Park In Montana
How many of Montana’s 55 beautiful state parks have you visited? While a handful of them can make the claim of being part of the Lewis and Clark expedition, there’s only one spot in the state — and in fact, in the country — that was a known campground for the famous duo and their companions. And that would be Travelers’ Rest State Park.
You'll find Travelers' Rest State Park about a mile south of Lolo.
Lolo Creek runs right through this picturesque park, which is typically pretty quiet and peaceful.
Travelers' Rest is an intersection between cultural and natural history.
For centuries, Native Americans (mostly Salish, Pend d'Oreille, and Nez Perce) used it as a campsite and trail junction.
Then, in 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition stopped here for two days to rest and camp.
The group also camped here on their return trip from June 30 to July 3, 1806.
This area was officially designated as a state park in 1960, but it wasn't until the summer of 2002 that archaeologists uncovered real evidence of the expedition's visit.
They found a trench latrine tainted with mercury, fire hearths, and lead used in the repair and manufacture of firearms. This means that Travelers' Rest is the only campsite on the Lewis and Clark Trail with physical evidence of the expedition.
These days, most Montanans use the park for taking nature walks and bird watching.
Over 115 species of birds have been spotted here.
When it's open, the Visitor's Center and Museum is a fantastic place to stop to gather more information on the area before you wander.
Interpretative programs are offered daily in the summer, and the park stays open all year.
The next time you find yourself in the area, stop by Travelers' Rest and imagine what Lewis and Clark must have been thinking back then.
We have a feeling they were thinking Montana is the most beautiful place on Earth (and rightfully so).
Have you ever visited Travelers’ Rest?
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6717 US-12, Lolo, MT 59847, USA