We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Nez Perce Route through Yellowstone?

Central New Jersey
Level Contributor
391 posts
Save Topic
Nez Perce Route through Yellowstone?

I'm interested in learning about the route that the Nez Perce took through Yellowstone on their way to Montana. Is anyone out there aware of a good book or trail guide that would help us to follow this route through the park? Is it possible to hike all or part of this route today?

Mentioned in this post
Montana
Montana
United States
Moose, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
Level Contributor
7,266 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Nez Perce Route through Yellowstone?

Here's some helpful information:

nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/upload/yell245.pdf

nps.gov/nepe/…NEPEmap1.pdf

Yes, you can hike the route. The trail crosses park roads in several places and is well signed. A little east from where the trail crosses the park road a little north of OF, you can stand at the location where the Indians took some park tourists prisoner for a short time. (Yellowstone was a national park at the time.) That part of the trail is easy hiking and stays mostly in a long valley stretching eastward. But sorry, I don't know of any guidebooks, although there must be some available.

Central New Jersey
Level Contributor
391 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Nez Perce Route through Yellowstone?

Thanks so much! I'm reading Kent Nerburn's book about Chief Joseph with a map along side to try and find the route. I was aware of the first link you sent me but not the second, so now I'll have to explore some more! I also have my Nat. Geo Yellowstone hiking map. Do you know the name of the trail north of OF where the hostages were held? Thanks! Also, I'm trying to find out which canyon they came out of on the east side to go to Montana.

Mentioned in this post
N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
23,282 posts
110 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Nez Perce Route through Yellowstone?

Have you read the Nez Perce Summer 1877 by Jerome A Greene?

Page 175

"Early the next day, the Nez Perces surprised the group of seven men and two women as they prepared breakfast....over the succeeding two days the fate of its various members hung in the balance. Some of the party escaped relatively quickly, and some were found by Howard's troops and scouts as they fled for safety.

That day, August 24, the Nez Perces passed from the Firehole River up the East Fork of the Firehole (later designated Nez Perce Creek), ascending Mary Mountain and skirting Mary Lake...and Hot Sulphur Springs...on the Central Plateau. ...On Saturday the twenty-fifth, they continued down the slope and thruough Hayden Valley and along Elk Antler Creek to the Yellowstone River, fording the stream abobe the Mud Volcano, about five miles north of Yellowstone Lake (the crossing is know today as Nez Perce Ford), and camping on the east side of the river. Here the Nez Perces released the remaining tourists, providing them with food, horses, assistance in recrossing the river and directions toward mammoth Hot Springs."

I will look a bit further to see if I can find where they came out the east side of the park.

BTW, the Nez Perce Ford Picnic area is my favorite lunch spot. It is just beautiful back in there right by the river. It is far enough off the road you don't hear much road noise.

Pam

Mentioned in this post
Firehole River
Firehole River
141 Reviews
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Hayden Valley
Hayden Valley
860 Reviews
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Yellowstone River
Yellowstone River
530 Reviews
West Yellowstone, MT
Yellowstone Lake
Yellowstone Lake
1,520 Reviews
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Central New Jersey
Level Contributor
391 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Nez Perce Route through Yellowstone?

Thanks Pam, the clues are getting better and better! We'll make sure to stop at that picnic area this summer when we are visiting the park.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
23,282 posts
110 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Nez Perce Route through Yellowstone?

Adding...so presumably the trail they took would be near the Mary Mountain Trail of today. Are you planning to try and hike it?

Pam

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
23,282 posts
110 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Nez Perce Route through Yellowstone?

There is also a *Story of Chief Joseph* story board on the road between Madison and Fountain Flat Drive where the road crosses Nez Perce Creek.

The Nez Perce Ford picnic area is between Fishing Bridge and Mud Volcano.

Pam

Mentioned in this post
Madison
Madison
Wisconsin
Central New Jersey
Level Contributor
391 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Nez Perce Route through Yellowstone?

I would LOVE to hike the Mary Mt. trail, but unfortunately the other three people in our traveling party are not really hikers. The thought of hiking alone in grizzly country scares me and I know that it is not a smart thing to do. So, I am trying to come up with a "plan B" so that I can experience what I can within those limitations. Still doing my homework!

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
23,282 posts
110 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Nez Perce Route through Yellowstone?

That is not a good trail to hike unless you are in a group. There was a fatality on the East end of that trail last summer and I also read on another forum about an incident a couple had with a bear on the same trail. Fortunately they were experienced and had bear spray so no injuries. You are right to trust your instincts on that one.

Pam

Moose, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
Level Contributor
7,266 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Nez Perce Route through Yellowstone?

>trying to find out which canyon they came out of on the east side to go to Montana

They used Lolo Pass to get over the Bitterroot Range. It was after they entered Montana that they confronted the Cavalry at the Battle of the Big Hole.

Mentioned in this post
Montana
Montana
United States
N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
23,282 posts
110 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Nez Perce Route through Yellowstone?

I thought she meant the east side of the park and back in to Montana?

Pam

Mentioned in this post
Montana
Montana
United States