55th Annual Meeting of the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation

  • Walk in the footsteps of the Expedition at Travelers’ Rest, Lost Trail, Packer Meadows, or on the Road to the Buffalo. Many of these sites are untouched by development and appear much as they did to the Corps of Discovery.
  • See the “tremendious mountanes” and learn about the “verry large and a turrible looking” grizzly bear and other wildlife encountered by the Expedition.
  • Hear the languages spoken by the indigenous people who traveled through the Bitterroot Valley.
  • Consider how the landscape, the native cultures, and even the climate that Lewis and Clark experienced have changed since 1806 and how they will continue to evolve.
  • Enjoy the dynamic culture of Missoula, a place of mountains and rivers, families and students, art and trails.


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.

Dinner Events

Included with full registration. May be purchased separately.

Gary Moulton Lecture & Dinner with Dan Flores

Wednesday, June 28, 5:30 pm

Holiday Inn Downtown Missoula

$55 per person

Click here to register and pay by credit card.

Finale BBQ with Tours & Demonstrations

Friday, June 30, 4 – 8 pm

Travelers’ Rest State Park

$55 per person

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: inlandempiretours@hotmail.com   (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 (lewisandclarkfoundation.org)

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 inlandempiretours@hotmail.com   

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.