Big Hole National Battlefield

Today we had a pleasant drive through the Bitterroot Valley in Montana. We could totally see the large amount of devastation a forest fire left a couple of years ago. It totally changes the landscape and the burn was miles and miles long. The water in the nearby rivers and creeks were very high from the snow melt runoff as well.

Right near the Idaho boarder we stopped at the Big Hole National Battlefield. This is our first “National Battlefield” as there really aren’t a whole lot, many other battlefields are historical sites instead. This was a very pretty and open valley. In 1877, many Nez Perce Native Americans were killed in a surprise morning attack by the US Government troops. The Government wanted to round them up to a reservation in Idaho, but the Native Americans wanted to flee to Canada, where they believed they would be treated differently and could unite with Sitting Bull and the Lakota Band there. But the predawn attack took them by surprise and killed 60-90 Nez Perce and 28 US forces.

There are still tepees on the battlefield site that are maintained by families of those in the battle which is super neat. This just so happens to be where Woody’s favorite Junior Ranger pin is from too – it’s a unique gold and silver badge! (MT)

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