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Natural HistoryMammals - LargeGrizzly Bear - Ursus arctos horribilisRecovery
Griz in the 'Roots
Recovery Plan
 

Map of the Bitterroot Mountains, 1854

Clearwater River Route of Lieut. Mullan in September 1854 (See Note 1, below) Koos Koos Ky River Approximate divide between Lewis and Clark's Forks of Columbia R. High rugged mountains with pine forest Unexplored Route of A. W. Tinkham in November 1853 (See Note 2, below) Big Hole Mountains Cantonment Stevens.  Lieutenant John Mullan's winter camp, 1853-54 Fort Owen. Trading post established in 1850 by Major John Owen. Camp Bache, Sep. 29 to Oct. 3. Bache was a colleague of Stevens, though not a member of the expedition. Bitter Root or St. Mary's Fork (of Clark's River). Named St. Mary's by Fr. Jean-Pierre DeSmet, who founded St. Mary's Mission here in 1841. Ross' Hole, where Lewis & Clark met the Salish Indians in September, 1805. Alexander Ross and his Hudson's Bay Company brigade spent the month of March, 1824, here waiting for spring snows to melt. He called it The Valley of Troubles. Defile of Coriacan. A Hawaiian trapper named Koriak was killed by Blackfeet Indians in this defile, or pass. Salmon Fork (of the Koos Koos Ky, or Clearwater River). Lou Lou Fork. Lewis & Clark's Travelers' Rest Creek. Now called Lolo Creek. Hot Spring (now Lolo Hot Spring) Hell Gate, noted for Blackfeet Indian ambushes Blackfoot Fork (of Clark's River). Lewis's route back to the Great Falls of the Missouri in July of 1806. Bitter Root Mountains Bitter Root Mountains Bitter Root Mountains - Approximate Divide between Lewis and Clark's Forks of Columbia R. High Rugged mountains with pine forest Unexplored Lou Lou Fork Koos-koos-ky River Route of Lieut. Mullan in September 1853. (See Note 1, below.) Bitter Root River Mountains with pine forest Defile of Coriacan Hell Gate Bitter Root River or St. Mary's Fork (so named by Fr. Ravalli, who established a mission here in 1840. Ross's Hole, named for Alexander Ross, who camped here for x months during the spring of 18xx, waiting for snow to melt on the trail to the Big Hole. Route of A. W. Tinkham in November 1853. (See Note 2, below.) Cantonment Stevens. Lieutenant John Mullan's winter camp, 1853-54. Fort Owen; Camp Bache (xxxxxxxxx xx xxx xx); Sept. 29 to Oct 3 Bitter Root Mountains Route of Lieut. Mullan Salmon Fork Palouse River Koos-koos-ky or Clearwater River Big Hole Mountains (now considered part of the Bitterroot Range

For more information, hold cursor over any text on map until pop-up window appears.


1. William Clark had sighed with relief after reaching Travelers' Rest on June 30, 1806, "leaving those tremendious mountanes behind us--in passing of which we have experiensed Cold and hunger of which I shall ever remember." Forty-seven years later, in September of 1853, Lieutenant John Mullan, on assignment from the commander of the Railroad Survey expedition, made it from the mouth of Lolo Creek to the Nez Perce Indian village on the Clearwater near today's Kamiah, Idaho, in just nine days. "The route had been represented to me by some to be very rugged and difficult, and by others as feasible and practicable." His conclusion was unequivocal: "the route is thoroughly and utterly impracticable for a railroad route."


From the head of Lo-Lo's fork [of the Bitterroot River] to the Clearwater the country is one immense bed of rugged, difficult, pine-clad mountains, that can never be converted to any purpose for the use of man.... I have never met with a more uninviting or rugged bed of mountains.

2. On June 20th of 1806, reflecting on the alternative to retracing their steps across the northern Nez Perce trail, Meriwether Lewis recalled:

From the information of the Chopunnish [Nez Perce] there is a passage which at this season of the year is not obstructed by snow, though the round [route?] is very distant and would require at least a month in its performance. The Shoshones informed us when we first met with them that there was a passage across the mountains in that quarter, but represented the difficulties arising from steep, high and rugged mountains, and also an extensive and barren plain which was to be passed without game, as infinitely more difficult than the route by which we came.

A. W. Tinkham, a civil engineer with Isaac Stevens's railroad explorations and surveys, traveled the so-called southern Nez Perce trail between November 21 and December 24, 1853, proved that it was not a practicable route for a railroad, and confirmed the reports Lewis and Clark had gotten from Indian informants.


--Joseph Mussulman

Griz in the 'Roots
Recovery Plan


 
From Discovering Lewis & Clark ®, http://www.lewis-clark.org © 1998-2014
by The Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, Washburn, North Dakota.
Journal excerpts are from The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, edited by Gary E. Moulton
13 vols. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983-2001)