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Nez Perce National Historical Park (Idaho Sites)

Nez Perce National Historical Park - BEST Places to Picnic

PO Box 1000
Lapwai, ID 83540

Visitor Information
(208) 843-7001

WELCOME to Nez Perce National Historical Park (Idaho Sites)

The park has thirty-eight sites in four states - Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington. A park map is available through the link to the left and can be used in conjunction with this list.

Confluence Overlook

Donald MacKenzie established a trading post near the confluence of the Clearwater River in September 1812. The Nez Perce were not interested in the fur trade and MacKenzie sold out to the British.

Coyote's Fishnet

Coyote and Black Bear got into an argument. In frustration, Coyote threw his fishing net on a hill and tossed Black Bear on another, turning him into stone. Both features are visible today.

Ant and Yellowjacket

Ant and Yellowjacket were arguing over who had the right to fish for Salmon when they got into an argument. Coyote asked them to stop. They continued to fight, whereby Coyote turned them into a stone arch that is visible today.


The Spalding site has seen many uses by the Nez Perce and was the location of Henry and Eliza Spalding�s mission. The park's visitor center and museum is located here as well. Nearby is where the Spalding's first settled in 1836.

Northern Idaho Indian Agency

As part of the treaty process, the U.S. Government set up an agency to oversee the implementation of the terms of the treaties.

Fort Lapwai

In 1862, a detachment of volunteers chose this location for their fort. The 1883 officers' quarters at the southwest end of the parade ground is one of the few original buildings to have survived.

Craig Donation Land Claim

This is the site of the claim by the first Euro-American settler in Idaho. William Craig was a mountain man, an interpreter, and friend of the Nez Perce.

St. Joseph's Mission

This was the first Roman Catholic mission among the Nez Perce. It was dedicated in Sept. 1874 by Father Joseph Cataldo, who had built it. The church and grounds are currently closed.

Cottonwood Skirmishes

Skirmishes with the U.S. Army and volunteers occurred near here on July 3 and 5, 1877.

Weis Rockshelter

More than 8,000 years ago humans first made this home and continuously inhabited the area until about 600 years ago.

Camas Prairie

Where wheat fields stretch to the horizon today, camas once grew. Camas bulbs were a major food source for the Nez Perce. They gathered here in late summer and early fall to dig them.

Tolo Lake

In 1877, the non-treaty bands congregated at this ancient council site, known as Tepahlewam, before moving onto the reservation. Frustrated by injustices against the Nez Perce, three Nez Perce warriors raided homesteads on the Salmon River from this site.

White Bird Battlefield

On June 17, 1877, the first battle of the Nez Perce War was fought here. The U.S. cavalry was defeated with heavy losses and the Nez Perce began their long journey to find safety and sanctuary. A self-guided walking tour of the battlefield is available at the trailhead.

Clearwater Battlefield

On July 11, 1877 Gen. Oliver O. Howard crossed the Clearwater River and hoped to take the Nez Perce by surprise. His hopes came to naught and the fighting ended with the Nez Perce withdrawing.

Heart of the Monster

This is the location of the Heart of the Monster, where Coyote defeated a monster and, in turn, created the Nez Perce people. Audio stations tell the story in English and in the Nez Perce languages.

Asa Smith Mission

In April 1839, Rev. and Mrs. Asa Smith established a mission in the Kamiah area. Unsuited to the demands of such work, the Smiths left in 1841.

Lewis and Clark Long Camp

Near here Lewis and Clark camped among the Nez Perce for nearly a month in the spring of 1806.

Canoe Camp

In the early fall of 1805, the Lewis and Clark expedition rested here and built canoes of hollowed-out logs for the final leg of their trip to the Pacific Ocean.


For thousands of years, this village site was used by the Nez Perce and their ancestors.

Weippe Prairie

This was a root-gathering place for the Nez Perce and it was here on September 20, 1805, that Lewis and Clark first met the Nez Perce. During the 1877 War, the Nez Perce came here after the Battle of the Clearwater.


In September 1860, gold was found on the Nez Perce reservation, triggering another treaty that reduced the size of the reservation. The other site of interest is the old Shoshone County courthouse, completed in 1862 and the oldest public building in Idaho.

Musselshell Meadow

For many generations, Nez Perce have come here to dig for camas. General Howard camped here at the end of July, 1877 while pursuing the Nez Perce over the Lolo Trail.

Lolo Pass and Trail

This historic Nez Perce trail was used by Lewis and Clark in 1805 and 1806. During the 1877 War the Nez Perce followed the trail on into Montana. The U.S. Forest Service maintains a visitor center at Lolo Pass.

Looking Glass' 1877 Campsite

The Looking Glass Band tried to remain neutral in the conflict between the non-treaty Nez Perce. The Army attacked the village. Looking Glass regarded this as treachery and joined the others against the Army.

Buffalo Eddy

The unique petroglyphs of this area are evidence of the longevity of the Nez Perce occupation of the area. Defacing federal archeological sites is a criminal offense.


Hasotino was a site used until the end of the 19th century and was located near an important eel fishery.

Camas Meadow Battle Site

After the tragedy at Big Hole, the Nez Perce gained time by stealing more than 200 of the Army�s pack mules and horses, halting their advance.

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