• Explore hilltops and mountaintops (hikes optional)

  • Float (guided) down the Salmon River (options of oarboat, paddleboat, or kayak) 5 days camping in the wilderness

  • Straddle a source of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers

  • Travel by ten rivers play in four

  • Accomplish what Jeffy could not in his “Head & the Heart Letter”

  • Prepare Charbonneau’s Boudin Blanc recipe on the river with “two dips, and a flirt”

  • Enjoy fine dining along the Clearwater River with music & optional dancing

  • Campfires, storytelling, laughter and stars

Nez Perce war of 1877

-BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPE: After your Main Salmon River tour is over, you will find yourself traveling down a highway inside another deep, rugged, beautiful river canyon. This tributary to the Main is called the Lower Salmon River. A glimpse to the west you will see the Seven Devils Mountains. The Seven Devils (He Devil, She Devil, etc.) are used to measure the canyon of your river tour and the Snake River Canyon even farther west as the 2nd and 1st deepest river canyons in North America! Pretty spectacular are thos “devils.” (Yes, both canyons are deeper than the Grand Canyon. ) Over several millenniums another free-flowing river is continuing to carve and chissel a deeper canyon as it makes a run for the Pacific.

-HISTORY: Climbing the Whitebird Hill by van, you have a chance to overlook the first battle of the white people with the Nez Perce that launch the War of 1877. Allen Pinkham, great, great, grand-nephew of Chief Joseph will speak the language and describe details of what happened here and beyond as his people made a run to get to Canads.

Allen Pinkham co-author with Steve Evans, Lewis and Clark Among the Nez Perce - Strangers in the Land of the Nimiipuu writes about the war of 1877, “It was not a war wanted by the Nez Perce or promoted by Chief Joseph. This is the conflict that never should have happened, the fight that wise leaders, such as Twisted Hair, Red Grizzly Bear, Tun-na-che-moo-toolt (the Broken Arm), and others, believed they were guarding against by endorsing the agreements of May 1806 at the lower Commerp Creek (Lawyer’s Creek) Grand Council. There, the Americans traded rifles and amunition to the Nez Perce men, taught them marksmanship and shared the sacred pipes. Maybe if Lewis or Clark were around, their counsels migh have prevailed, and there would have been no army attacks on Nez Perce villages. Maybe Clark’s own son, “Claak,” the hala`x tuuqit, Daytime Smoker, would not have been caught up in the war with the United states and driven into exile to die.”

SEPTEMBER 22 - October 07, 1805, The Nez Perce were instrumental in assisting the Corps of Discovery after they arrived starving from trekking through the Bitterroot Mountains. Due to the men’s weakened digestive systems, they became very ill from the very protein rich, dried camas bulb diets provided by the Nez Perce along with salmon. The Americans spent several days with the Nez Perce building canoes to navigate themselves and their cargo to the Pacific Ocean. They also left their horses with the Nez Perce to watch over until they returned in 1806.

[CLARK] September 23, 1805 Traded with the Indians, made 3 Chiefs and gave them meadels & Tobacco & Handkerchif & knives, and a flag & left a Flag & hand kerches for the great Chief when he returns from war, in the evening proceeded to the 2d Vilg 2 miles, a hard wind and rain at dark, traded for Some root Bread & Skins to make Shirts.    hot day

[CLARK] September 24, 1805 a fine morning    collected our horses despatched J. Colter back to hunt the horses lost in the mountains & bring up Some Shot left behind, and at 10 oClock we all Set out for the river and proceeded on by the Same rout I had previously traveled, and at Sunset We arrived at the Island on which I found the Twisted hare and formed a Camp on a large Island a littl below, [1] Capt Lewis Scercely able to ride on a jentle horse which was furnishd by the Chief, Several men So unwell that they were Compelled to lie on the Side of the road for Some time others obliged to be put on horses. [2] I gave rushes Pills to the Sick this evening. Several Indians follow us.

[CLARK] October 5, 1805 a Cool morning    wind from the East, Collected all our horses, & Branded them [1] 38 in No. and delivered them to the men who were to take Charge of them, each of which I gave a Knife & one a wampon Shell gorget, The Lattd. of this place the mean of 2 observations is 46° 34' 56.3" North.    nothing to eate but dried roots & Dried fish, Capt Lewis & my Self eate a Supper of roots boiled, which filled us So full of wind, that we were Scercely able to Breathe all night felt the effects of it. Lanced 2 Canoes to day    one proved a little leakey    the other a verry good one

[CLARK] October 7, 1805I feel my Self verry unwell, all the canoes in the water, we Load and Set out, after fixing all our Poles &c. &c. The after noon Cloudy    proced on passd maney bad rapids, one Canoe that in which I went in front Sprung a Leak in passing the 3rd rapid—

LEWIS, “the natives told us that their object in seting those trees on fire was to bring fair weather for our journey.”

[LEWIS] June 25, 1806 the indians continued with us and I beleive are disposed to be faithfull to their engagement. I gave the sik indian a buffaloe robe he having no other covering except his mockersons and a dressed Elkskin without the hair

lewis & clark’s
canoe camp
and Camp chopunnish

-July 10, day 8 of your Odyssey Tour, this evening enjoy fine dining, music performed by Marcos Dominquez, and optional dancing along the banks of the Clearwater River.

-July 11, day 9 of your Odyssey Tour, you will visit Lewis & Clark’s Canoe Camp, where the Nez Perce showed the sick white creatures how to burn out their logs to make canoes for their journey. Then on to Camp Chopunnish, Lewis & Clark’s Long Camp, with Allen, where the Corps spent nearly a month with the Nez Perce, in 1806, waiting for the snow to melt to find the trail (road to the Buffalo) to cross the Bitterroots. Allen will take you to the birthmark of the Nez Perce Creation Story (remember from Day 1) at the Heart of the Monster. Then turning east, to travel at the base of the Bitterroot Mountains, along the Clearwater and Lochsa Rivers. takes you to our favorite Lodge in the American West. Here you’ll have a chance to meet the beautiful Lochsa River before saying goodbye to new friends at your final dinner and farewell party. Enroute you’ll stop for a quick dip into chips and salsa and fresh melons, or into one of the most pristine and beautiful untamed rivers you will ever meet. Then on to your Lodge for your last evening.

LATE SPRING May 14 - June 10, 1806 The Corps returns from the Pacific Ocean and spend nearly a month with the Nez Perce waiting for the snow to melt in the Bitterroot Mountains. At Broken Arm’s Lodge they found the American flag they gifted proudly flying. At Twisted Hairs Lodge they found 21 of their horses in fine condition.

[CLARK] May 10, 1806Those people has Shewn much greater acts of hospitallity than we have witnessed from any nation or tribe Since we have passed the rocky Mountains.    in Short be it Spoken to their immortal honor it is the only act which diserves the appelation of hospitallity which we have witnessed in this quarter.

[ORDWAY] May 10, 1806 they had their flag hoisted and appeared glad to See us.   . . .  in the evening we played the fiddle and danced a while    a number of Indians came from other villages to See us    the Snow is gone in this bottom but lyes on the high plains & hills    considerable of cottonwood and wild or choke cherry along this creek & Scattering pine on the edges of the hills, &C.    we are now as near the Mountains as we can git untill Such times as the Snow is nearly gone of[f] the mountains as we are too eairly to cross.    one of the party purchased a dog this eveng. but the most of their dogs are too poor to eat

  • SEPTEMBER 15 -18, 1805 The Corps of Discovery (together)

  • SEPTEMBER 18- 20, - Clark and six hunters (set out ahead)

  • SEPTEMBER 21-22, - Rueben field and one native (bring L meat)

  • SEPTEMBER 18-22, - Lewis and others come out of the mountains

[CLARK] September 18, 1805 set out this morning to go a head with six hunters. [2]    there being no game in these mountains we concluded it would be better for one of us to take the hunters and hurry on to the leavel country a head and there hunt and provide some provision

[CLARK] September 20, 1805 proceeded on through a butifull Countrey for three miles to a Small Plain in which I found maney Indian lodges, [14] at the distance of 1 mile from the lodges I met 3 [WC: Indian] boys, when they Saw me ran and hid themselves [WC: in the grass I dismounted gave my gun & horse to one of the men,] searched [WC: in the grass and] found [WC: 2 of the boys] gave them Small pieces of ribin & Sent them forward to the village

[LEWIS] September 22, 1805 the country except the last 3 miles was broken and decending    the pleasure I now felt in having tryumphed over the rocky Mountains and decending once more to a level and fertile country where there was every rational hope of finding a comfortable subsistence for myself and party can be more readily conceived than expressed, nor was the flattering prospect of the final success of the expedition less pleasuing.    on our approach to the village which consisted of eighteen lodges most of the women fled to the neighbouring woods on horseback with their children

“The Smoking Place”, where Lewis & Clark stopped with their three young guides June 27, 1806 before proceeding through the Bitterroot Mountains and down to Killed Colt Creek on the Lochsa River.


Your Odyssey Tour will take you along the base of the infamous Bitterroot Mountains along the scenic and beautiful Lochsa River. You’ll stop at key Lewis & Clark locations to read from the journals.

JUNE 15- 30, 1806 The Corps of Discovery (together)
JUNE 23-XX, - Three young Nez Perce men (join to escort)

June 15, 1806 the Corps launch a forced march to trek through the Bitterroots, against the weather warning of the Nez Perce. only to hole up until June 23rd when three young Nez Perce arrive to escort them through the mountains.

[LEWIS] June 17, 1806 here was winter with all it's rigors; the air was cold, my hands and feet were benumbed.    we knew that it would require five days to reach the fish wears at the entrance of Colt Creek, [2] provided we were so fortunate as to be enabled to follow the proper ridges of the mountains to lead us to that place; 〈of this Drewyer our principal dependance as a woodsman and guide was entirely doubtfull;〉 short of that point we could not hope for any food for our horses not even underwood itself as the whole was covered many feet deep in snow.    if we proceeded and should get bewildered in these mountains the certainty was that we should loose all our horses and consequently our baggage instruments perhaps our papers and thus eminently wrisk the loss of the discoveries which we had already made if we should be so fortunate as to escape with life

June 23, 1806 Drewyer brought with him three indians who had consented to accompany us to the falls of the Missouri for the compensation of two guns.    one of those men is the brother of the cutnose and the other two [2] are the same who presented Capt. Clark and myself each with a horse on a former occasion at the Lodge of the broken arm. these are all young men of good character and much respected by their nation

[LEWIS] June 25, 1806 the indians continued with us and I beleive are disposed to be faithfull to their engagement. I gave the sik indian a buffaloe robe he having no other covering except his mockersons and a dressed Elkskin without the hair.

[LEWIS] June 27, 1806 about one mile short of this encampment on an elivated point we halted by the request of the Indians a few minutes and smoked the pipe.    on this eminence the natives have raised a conic mound of stones of 6 or eight feet high and on it's summit erected a pine pole of 15 feet long. [2]    from hence they informed us that when passing over with their familes some of the men were usually sent on foot by the fishery at the entrance of Colt Creek in order to take fish and again met the main party at the Quawmash glade on the head of the Kooskooske river. [3]    from this place we had an extensive view of these stupendous mountains principally covered with snow like that on which we stood; we were entirely surrounded by those mountains from which to one unacquainted with them it would have seemed impossible ever to have escaped; in short without the asssistance of our guides I doubt much whether we who had once passed them could find our way to Travellers rest in their present situation for the marked trees on which we had placed considerable reliance are much fewer and more difficult to find than we had apprehended. 

[CLARK] June 30, 1806 Descended the mountain to travellers rest leaveing those tremendious mountanes behind us—in passing of which we have experiensed Cold and hunger of which I shall ever remember.

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Step into beautiful landscapes, hear about the history, enjoy fun adventure, as you peer into a different world - of not so long ago.