Travelers' Rest

Grass lawn with large building with red roof in the background

Quick Facts
US Highway 12, Lolo MT
Campsite before Lolo Trail
National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Landmark

Lewis and Clark NHT Visitor Centers and Museums

Visitor Centers (shown in orange), High Potential Historic Sites (shown in black), and Pivotal Places (shown in green) along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Travellers Rest is a High Potential Historic Site on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

On September 9, 1805, before the expedition began the arduous passage across the Bitterroot Mountains, they encamped along a creek Lewis and Clark named Travellers Rest. The next day Clark wrote, “Concluded to Delay to day and make Some observations, as at this place the rout which we are to prosue will pass up the Travelers rest Creek, The day proved fair and we took equal altitudes & Some luner observations. The Latd. 46° 48’ 28” as the guide report that no game is to be found on our rout for a long ways, ads an addi­tion to the cause of our delay to precure Some meat, despatched all our hunters in different directions, to hunt the Deer which is the only large game to be found.” There was a friendly encounter with three Flat­head warriors, in pursuit of two men from another tribe who had stolen horses from them. On the morning of September 11, the expedition broke camp and continued westward into the mountains on the Lolo Trail. They returned to the area on June 30, 1806, and camped for three nights. Upon the July 3 departure, Clark took a contingent to explore the Yellowstone River, while Lewis headed for the Missouri and Marias rivers.

While Lewis and Clark named the creek, not the camp, Travellers Rest, in popular use it now refers to the geographic location of the camp site, reinforced the establishment of the Travellers Rest National Historic Landmark and Travelers’ Rest State Park. Conversely, the creek itself has since been renamed Lolo Creek. An accumulation of archeological evidence has led to a broad consensus regarding the camp site location.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Last updated: February 4, 2022