“we continued our rout down the W. side of the river about 5 miles further and encamped on a large creek which falls in on the West as our guide informes that we should leave the river at this place and the weather appearing settled and fair I determined to halt the next day rest our horses and take some scelestial Observations.    we called this Creek Travellers rest.    it is about 20 yards wide a fine bould clear runing stream…”

Journal of Meriwether Lewis, September 9, 1805

Travelers’ Rest State Park is home to the ONLY archaeologically verified campsite of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960, Travelers’ Rest is a notable location along the Lewis and Clark Trail for many reasons. This was their last stop before beginning their journey across the treacherous Bitterroot Mountains in September 1805. The Corps of Discovery returned to this place at the end of June, 1806, to finalize their plans to travel separately through what is now Montana before reuniting on August 12 near Sanish, North Dakota.

“a little before Sunset we arrived at our old encampment on the S. Side of the Creek a little above its enterance into Clarks river.    here we Encamped with a view to remain 2 days in order to rest ourselves and horses and make our final arrangements for Seperation.”

Journal of William Clark, June 30, 1806

In 1960, the National Park Service named Travelers’ Rest a National Historic Landmark, but placed the site approximately 1.5 miles east of its current location. Both amateurs and academics, intent on finding the exact location of the Corps of Discovery campsite, contributed to the research that revealed the actual sites of the camp’s fires and latrine.

Visitors to Travelers’ Rest can learn more about the preponderance of evidence that led to the relocation of the National Historic Landmark and the development of Travelers’ Rest State Park.

Dig Deeper

Explore the links below to learn more about the individuals, events, items, and context of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Many of these resources were written by a dedicated group of amateur historians and volunteers known affectionately as the Clarkkies. We will post new links as they become available, so check back often!

LESSER KNOWN MEMBERS OF THE CORPS OF DISCOVERY: ROBERT FRAZER
Private Frazer was the author of unpublished journal, now lost, and an inaccurate map of the expedition.

CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT OF THE CORPS: MOCCASINS
Could you walk a mile (or 4,000) in their shoes?

CORPS OF DISCOVERY FOOD SOURCES: WESTERN MONTANA BISON DISTRIBUTION
Where exactly did those buffalo roam?

THE NAME “TRAVELLERS REST”
This unique site shares its name with many other places…find out why.

BUSY PREPARATIONS BEFORE THE 1806 SPLIT
The Corps of Discovery prepares to split into smaller parties during their second stay at Travelers’ Rest.

LESSER KNOWN MEMBERS OF THE CORPS OF DISCOVERY: NATHANIEL HALE PRYOR
Nathaniel Hale Pryor was one of the first men selected for the Corps of Discovery. Captain Clark called him a man of “character and ability.” Was his faith in Pryor well-placed?

YORK: INVOLUNTARY AMBASSADOR
How did an enslaved man contribute to the success of the Expedition? What was his life like afterward?

CONTINUITY IN A TIME OF CHANGE – VIDEO
Tony Incashola (Director, Séliš-Ql̓ispé Culture Committee) and Thompson Smith (Coordinator, Tribal History and Ethnogeography Projects​) joined us on Zoom to share the many changes taking place in Séliš life in the 1700s, and how those affected the tribe into the following century. Click here to watch a video of this presentation.