Imprinting the West

April 6 – May 23: Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined, a traveling exhibit of 48 hand-colored prints from early 19th century artists.


Early Bird registration for the 55th Annual Meeting is available until April 23, 2023, at $395 per person. ($425 per person after April 23.)

Your registration fee includes a Welcome Reception, Speaker Sessions and Walking Tours on Wednesday and Thursday, Dinner and Moulton Lecture on Wednesday, Bus Tours on Friday, and a Farewell Dinner & Event at Travelers’ Rest State Park on Friday (two breakfasts and two lunches are also included.) Choose the option below to pay either by credit card or check.

Vendor Fair

Travelers’ Rest Connection is accepting applications to sell art, books, collectibles, and other merchandise relevant to the sharing the story of the Expedition. On Wednesday, June 28, 2023, a small number of vendors will set up in the Atrium of the Holiday Inn Downtown from noon to 6 pm.

Click Here for more information and an application.

Cancellation Policy

The Annual Meeting Planning Committee understands that plans change. If you find you need to cancel your reservation, we will refund a portion of your fee up till 15 days before the Annual Meeting.

Cancellations made by 90 days before the Annual Meeting are subject to a $50 administrative fee.

Cancellations made from 60 – 90 days before the Meeting will receive a 75% refund.

Cancellations made from 15 – 59 days before the Meeting will receive a 50% refund.

No refunds within 15 days of the Annual Meeting (after June 12, 2023)

Conference Agenda

Click on dates below for daily schedules, subject to change. Optional pre- and post-conference tour information is included for your convenience; these tours are operated by other organizations.

Optional Pre-Conference Tours

June 23-26: Optional three-day pre-meeting tour Lewis & Clark Over Lemhi Pass: From the Headwaters of the Missouri to Beaverhead, Camp Fortunate to Travelers’ Rest.  For itinerary or to reserve your place by April 23, call Inland Empire Tours at 509-747-1335 or email:   (Package cost of $1040 per person double occupancy, $1302 per person single occupancy, includes three hotel nights, three tour days, journal readings, transportation, seven meals, admissions, and tour guide.)

June 26: Optional Bus Tour Walk in the Footsteps of the Expedition at Lost Trail with Lewis & Clark Trail Adventures departs Holiday Inn at 9 am (Package cost of $150 includes transportation, guides, and lunch will be invoiced once tour minimum of 25 participants is reached. 40 people maximum)

Tuesday, June 27

Complete Schedule to Be Announced

9 am   Board Meeting/Brunch

1:00 pm Optional Float on Blackfoot and Clark Fork Rivers with Lewis & Clark Trail Adventures (extra fee of $65 includes transportation and guides will be invoiced once trip minimum of 20 participants is reached.)

5:30 pm Welcome/Opening Ceremony

6:00 pm Silent Auction Opens

Wednesday, June 28

Complete Schedule To Be Announced

6:00 – 7:00 am Wellness Walk

9:00 am Concurrent Sessions

A Mother’s Journey: The Life of Lucy Meriwether Lewis Marks

A woman both of her times and ahead of her times, Lucy Marks was determined to fulfill the role expected of upper-class women at the turn of the 19th century while remaining independent and dedicated to her own pursuits. Join historic interpreter Mary Jane Bradbury as she unveils the story of this remarkable woman and the indelible impact she had on one of the key players in the formation of the United States.

Séliš-Ql̓ispé Culture Committee

In The Salish People and the Lewis & Clark Expedition, a Native American community offers an in-depth examination of the events and historical significance of their encounter with the Lewis and Clark expedition. Members of the Culture Committee talk about the natural and cultural landscape of the Bitterroot Valley when the Expedition arrived, as well as the research and writing of this unique book.

10:45 am Concurrent Sessions

American Bison: From Pre-History to 1890

Lee Silliman discusses the natural history of the American Bison, as well as its essential role in indigenous culture of the American Plains. The talk will conclude with a discussion of the tragic slaughter of the bison by Euro-American hide hunters who nearly extirpated the species in the 1870s and 1880s. Illustrated with artworks spanning two centuries, including images drawn from Silliman’s extensive Western Americana print collection. Many of these artworks will be on view at Travelers’ Rest State Park during the final evening of the Annual Meeting.

Roadside Attraction: Indigenous Cartography and the Early 19th Century Cultural Landscape

Our understanding of the Lewis and Clark Expedition is generally informed by the documents generated by the members of the Corps and the government which supported it. Kevin O’Briant will talk about alternative sources of evidence, such as place names, indigenous maps, and the archaeological record allow us to shift our perspective from the Expedition members to the world those members were seeing and experiencing, the landscapes they were moving through in 1805-1806, and who or what inhabited and shaped those landscapes.

12:00 – 6:00 pm Vendor Fair in Atrium of Holiday Inn. Click here for more info and a vendor application.

12:15 pm Lunch on Your Own

1:30 pm Walking Tours

  • Art & the Expedition includes Missoula Art Museum and County Courthouse, 1 mile, accessible
  • Animals of the Expedition includes Boone & Crockett Club and MT Natural History Center, 1.7 miles with some stairs
  • Riverside Roundtable discussions with historians on the hotel lawn (or inside depending on weather)

3:30 pm Optional Region and Chapter Meetings

5:30 pm Dinner and Gary Moulton Lecture with Dan Flores

Dan Louie Flores is an American writer and historian who specializes in cultural and environmental studies of the American West. He held the A.B. Hammond Chair in Western History at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana until he retired in May 2014. Since then he has authored two critically-acclaimed books, American Serengeti and Coyote America, a New York Times bestseller. Flores’ latest work, Wild New World: The Epic Story of People and Animals in America, was released in October 2022.

Thursday, June 29

Complete Schedule To Be Announced

6:00 – 7:00 am Wellness Walk

9:00 am Walking Tours

  • Art & the Expedition includes Missoula Art Museum and County Courthouse, 1 mile, accessible
  • Animals of the Expedition includes Boone & Crockett Club and MT Natural History Center, 1.7 miles with some stairs
  • Riverside Roundtable discussions with historians on the hotel lawn (or inside depending on weather)

11:00 am Concurrent Sessions

So Hard to Die: A Physician and a Psychologist Explore the Mystery of Meriwether Lewis’s Death

Meriwether Lewis died at the age of 35 of gunshot wounds sustained on the Natchez Trace in Tennessee. Authors David and Marti Peck provide an in-depth analysis of the various theories that still swirl around his death and draw on their professional backgrounds as a physician and a clinical psychologist to vividly and convincingly explain the mystery of Lewis’s death. David and Marti Peck discuss their book as well as the medicine of the Expedition and how it led to the discovery of the campsite at Travelers’ Rest.

One Common and Boundless Pasture: Sharing the Prairie for Wildlife, People, and Communities

The Missouri River landscapes of Montana that Lewis and Clark observed, and that generations of Indigenous peoples have known, lived on, and stewarded for generations, is much changed today. Join staff from American Prairie and Fort Belknap’s Nakoda Aaniiih Economic Development Corporation to learn about the work being done in Central Montana to bring wildlife back to our grasslands, to support healthy communities, and to collaborate to honor the land by preserving and sharing its heritage.

12:30 pm Lunch & Annual Business Meeting

2:00 pm Concurrent Sessions

Montana Journeys after the Split

Norman Anderson of the LCTHF Portage Route Chapter will highlight the Corps of Discovery’s journeys after the party split up at Travelers’ Rest on July 3, 1806.


Journalist Rob Chaney, author of The Grizzly in the Driveway, talks about the history of the creature that Lewis called a “most tremendious looking anamal, and extreemly hard to kill.”

3:15 pm Panel Discussion on the Archaeology of Travelers’ Rest

Archaeologists Dan Hall and Sara Scott, and Regional Recreational Manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Loren Flynn talk about the research and discovery of the campsite at Travelers’ Rest State Park.

4:45 pm Awards & Announcement of 2024 Meeting

5:30 pm Dinner on Your Own (Walk to Downtown Tonight, Missoula’s weekly food truck festival, or visit one of the city’s fine dining establishments!)

Friday, June 30

6:00 – 7:00 am Wellness Walk

9:00 am Bus Tours including Box Lunches

Tour 1: Over the Tremendious Montanes Lolo Pass, Packer Meadows, Glade Creek Campsite, Nez Perce Cultural Demonstrators. This tour may include some walking on flat, unpaved trail or boardwalk, but there is an option to spend extra time in the Lolo Pass Visitor Center rather than walking.

Tour 2: Cokahlahishkit: River of the Road to the Buffalo Milltown State Park and Lewis’ 4th of July Campsite near Angevine Fishing Access Site. This tour may include some walking on flat, paved and unpaved trail.

Tour 3: Séliš-Ql̓ispé People Then and Now National Bison Range, Ninepipes Museum, St. Ignatius Mission. This tour includes short walks from the coach to accessible visitor center and museum.

5 pm    Closing Dinner & Entertainment at Travelers’ Rest State Park

Tour buses will deliver attendees to Travelers’ Rest State Park where they can go on a guided tour around the Expedition campsite, see exhibits in the Visitor Center, and purchase items in the Gift Shop. Dinner and entertainment will follow.

Optional Post-conference Tours & Events

June 30 – July 2: The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls, MT is celebrating 25 years! Come join them as they have a 3 day encampment with activities, programs, and so much more. June 30 – July 2. More information can be found here: News & Events | Lewisclark (

July 1: Optional Tour High on the Lolo Trail with Lewis & Clark Trail Adventures departs Holiday Inn at 9 am. Our stops concentrate on Lewis & Clark campsites and other significant sites mentioned in their journals. Some are thickly wooded near watering holes, and some are along the ridge lines with mountain views for miles. Stops include Colt Killed Creek, Glade Creek Camp, Indian Post Office, Smoking Place, and many more, with historic interpretation at each site plus discussion during drive time. Some unlevel terrain and moderate inclines; please wear appropriate footwear! (Package cost of $180 includes transportation, lunch, and guides will be invoiced once trip minimum of 12 participants is reached. 30 people maximum.)

July 1-2: Optional two-day post tour Lewis and Clark Festival at Great Falls, LCTHF HQ, Gates of Mountains Boat Cruise (Package cost of $660 per person double occupancy or $860 per person single occupancy includes two hotel nights, transportation, four meals, admission, and tour guide.)  For itinerary or to reserve your place by April 23, call Inland Empire Tours at 509-747-1335 or email   

Hotel Information

Exterior of hotel
The Holiday Inn Downtown Missoula

This recently renovated hotel on the banks of the Clark Fork River will serve as headquarters for the Annual Meeting. Rooms may be reserved after August 15, 2022, by clicking the link: Travelers’ Rest Connection 2023 or calling (406) 532-2059 and using Group Name Travelers’ Rest Connection 2023 and Booking Code LC3.

A small number of rooms are also on hold at the nearby Comfort Inn. Reserve by clicking this link or by calling 406-549-7600 to make reservations under Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage.

You can find other accommodation options, including campgrounds, on the Destination Missoula website.

Travelers’ Rest State Park

Travelers’ Rest marks the intersection between cultural and natural history. Along the banks of Lolo Creek, visitors explore the landscape used for centuries by indigenous peoples, visited twice by the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery, and home to a wondrous diversity of plants and animals. Travelers’ Rest Connection supports Travelers’ Rest State Park through outreach, advocacy, and educational experiences connecting the past to the future.

Click Below to Purchase Your Tickets Today!

If you are unable to attend the event, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Camp at the Crossroads

A fun and educational day camp for elementary aged students from July 24-28. Registration now open.


Travelers’ Rest field trips offer fun, informal learning for students of all ages. To ensure great experiences for both children and adults on these field trips, we recommend a maximum of 20 students per station, though we can accommodate groups of 28 students when an additional chaperone accompanies them. (Classrooms may be split into two groups.) Note that certain field trip topics have a maximum capacity of 20 students to maintain student safety, assure program quality, and manage time. Be sure to carefully read through the listings below as you plan your field trip. We look forward to seeing you at the park!

Thanks to the generosity of the members and donors of Travelers’ Rest Connection, all field trips are offered free of charge.




From clothing to flintlock weapons to navigational equipment, Travelers’ Rest has a large collection of replica items that illustrate what life was like for explorers in the early 19th century. Students participate in an interactive presentation that includes stories from the Corps of Discovery’s journey through what is now western Montana. Kindergarteners through second graders investigate replica items through a fun, hands-on matching game. Indoors.
Content Standards: Social Studies, Science, English CC
Grade Level: K-2, 3-6
Capacity: 20 students or 28 students with an additional chaperone provided by school


Walk in the footsteps of the Lewis and Clark expedition! Travelers’ Rest is the only archaeologically confirmed campsite along the Lewis and Clark Trail. In this program, students learn about the scientific process and the technology used to pinpoint the location of the Travelers’ Rest site and see the areas that were excavated to uncover the campfire and latrine. Outdoors.
Content Standards: Social Studies, Science, Math CC, English CC, Health
Grade Level: K-12
Capacity: 20 students


Under the mandate of President Thomas Jefferson, Captains Lewis and Clark, their sergeants, and Private Whitehouse kept detailed journals about their trip across the continent. In this program, students hear what the expedition members had to say when they visited Travelers’ Rest and try to decipher their 19th-century descriptions of plants and animals. Students also make their own careful observations and write a journal entry to record their experience at Travelers’ Rest. Outdoors.
Content Standards: Social Studies, Science, Math CC, English CC, Arts, Health
Grade Level: 3-4, 5-8
Capacity: 20 students or 28 students with an additional chaperone provided by school


Students will also use primary sources to learn about individual members of the Corps of Discovery and the diverse backgrounds and skills that contributed to the success of the Expedition. Students will complete small group discussion and individual reflection activities.

Content Standards: Social Studies, Language Arts
Grade Level: 4-8
Capacity: 30 students



Hunting and intuition are incredibly valuable skills for surviving in the harsh climates of Montana. Your students will love this opportunity to play these traditional games while learning more about what life was like for the people who lived here at the place called “No Salmon.” Closed-toed shoes are required. Outdoors.
Content Standards: Social Studies, English CC, Health, IEFA
Grade Level: K-5
Capacity: 20 students


After practicing some Native Games in Level 1, your students will have the opportunity to play a full game of Double Ball as well as discuss the importance of working as a team for the traditional Salish people. Due to the physical nature of this field trip program, groups of 16 or less are required. Close-toed shoes are required. Outdoors.
Content Standards: Social Studies, English CC, Health, IEFA
Grade Level: 6-12
Capacity: 20 students


Explore the seasonal round typical of the traditional Salish way of life and learn how the Plateau peoples met their seasonal needs for food, shelter, tools, and clothing with resources available at different times of the year and in different places. Students work in teams to explore the seasonal round and to gain awareness and appreciation of the interconnectedness of people with the natural world. Indoors.
Content Standards: Communication Arts, Science, Social Studies, IEFA, Workplace Competencies
Grade Level: 4-6
Capacity: 20 students or 28 students with an additional chaperone provided by school


During the course of their expedition, the Corps of Discovery traveled through the
homelands of at least 50 Indigenous nations who spoke many different languages and dialects. In this
program, students will explore the challenges that came with trying to communicate across barriers of
language and culture, and the importance of the Corps’ diverse membership in their ultimate success.
Content Standards: Social Studies, Language Arts, IEFA
Grade Level: K-6
Capacity: 20 students



The cottonwood forest is essential to the health of Lolo Creek, the stream that runs through Travelers’ Rest. Students will explore the forest at Travelers’ Rest, learn about the life cycle of trees, and what distinguishes the cottonwood from other species. This field trip provides a good introduction to plant science for young learners. Outdoors.
Content Standards: Social Studies, Science, English CC, Health
Grade Level: Pre-K-3
Capacity: 20 students


Predators abound in Montana’s wild lands. A hands-on inspection of animal parts including jaw bones, pelts and skulls, gives students clues about abilities and diets of these mammals. Students will also learn about the valuable role of all animals in our ecosystem and explore how the natural environment would change without them. Outdoors (preferred) or Indoors.
Content Standards: Social Studies, Science, English CC, Health
Grade Level: 3-6
Capacity: 20 students or 28 students with an additional chaperone provided by school


Travelers’ Rest State Park is habitat to more than 130 bird species, an abundance of native plants and many other flora and fauna. Throughout the year, the seasonal changes in habitat and inhabitants can be witnessed through the Solo Hike along the Nature Trail. Students will have the opportunity to experience nature on their own or in pairs while reflecting on the different ways that Travelers’ Rest State Park is an important place. This program is facilitated by the classroom teacher, rather than a Travelers’ Rest staff member. Outdoors.
Content Standards: Social Studies, Science, English CC, Health
Grade Level: 3-12
Capacity: 20 students or 28 students with an additional chaperone provided by school


Creeks, rivers, and streams are the arteries that bring life and texture to the state of Montana. Students will explore the riparian habitat along Lolo Creek in Travelers’ Rest State Park and search for the plants and animals that call it home; learn about the importance of healthy riparian systems; delve into the dynamics of rivers; and become familiar with the greatest riparian habitat architect in history. Outdoors.

Grade: 3+

Capacity: 20 Students 

Camp at the Crossroads

Full Days July 24-29, 2023

8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Children entering 1st – 5th grades explore the outdoors at a unique historic and cultural site. They’ll play traditional indigenous games, journal like Lewis & Clark, create art projects, cool off in Lolo Creek, and much more!

$300 per child includes supplies and snacks. Children should bring their own lunch, water bottle, and towel.

Travelers’ Rest State Park is home to a remarkable diversity of plants and animals: 

“It was good!  Their home life was good, they were growing up in a good way, the children of the long ago people.  The land was clean, the air was clean, everything was good.”

Mitch Smallsalmon, Pend d’Oreille elder, 1978
From The Salish People and the Lewis and Clark Expedition
U. of Nebraska Press (2005)

The site of Travelers’ Rest State Park lies at the hub of an intricate network of trade, travel, and culture developed over thousands of years. The Bitterroot Salish traveled this network of trails to find salmon to the west; buffalo, bull trout, bitterroot and camas to the east; other Salishan speaking people—the Pend d’Oreille and Spokane—to the north; and later, horse country to the south.

“It was a favorite hunting area, especially for deer, and the people would move there for that purpose in the spring.”

From The Salish People and the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Because of the vast resources found here, Native peoples returned to this area throughout the year. Families camped along the banks of Lolo Creek, gathering resources needed to survive the long Rocky Mountain winters. 

Although they were removed from the Bitterroot Valley in 1891, the area still remains an important ancestral homeland for the Salish people. Travelers’ Rest State Park helps to preserve a small part of this landscape and interpret its history for visitors from around the region and throughout the world.

“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!

Private Frazer was the author of unpublished journal, now lost, and an inaccurate map of the expedition.

Could you walk a mile (or 4,000) in their shoes?

What were the main sources of sustenance for the Expedition as they made their way across the continent?

Where exactly did those buffalo roam?

This unique site shares its name with many other places…find out why.

The Corps of Discovery prepares to split into smaller parties during their second stay at Travelers’ Rest.

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?

“The order of cropping the hair was intended to introduce uniformity as well as neatness and cleanliness.”

Members of the Expedition noted a variety of species of animals and birds during their travels through the Bitterroot Valley.

What may have been lost in translation? A major challenge during the expedition was communicating with the Indians of the more than two dozen Tribes they met along their way to the Pacific Coast.

York, an enslaved man, was brought on the Expedition by his owner, William Clark. His presence was essential to the success of the mission, yet he received neither payment nor freedome on the Expedition’s triumphant return to St. Louis.

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.