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From the Journals of
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Leaving Travelers' Rest 1806 
Exploration routes of Lewis, Clark & canoe party

Clark's Journal Entries >>


At Travelers' Rest, on July 3rd, the party separated.  Clark with 50 horses, 20 men, Sacagawea and her baby, headed up the Bitterroot River to the place they had met the Flatheads the year before.  They then crosses the Continental Divide at Gibbon's Pass, crossed the head of the Big Hole valley, in a south-easterly directions, passing a place where the Indians had recently been digging roots, stopped at a hot springs, and then crossed Big Hole Pass and arrived at Camp Fortunate on July 8.  Here they recovered their dugouts and the supplies which had been cached the year before. 

After reaching the Three Forks, Sergeant John Ordway and nine men continued down the Missouri with the dugouts.  Clark and the rest of the party headed east along the Gallatin River on to explore the Yellowstone River. 

Lewis' Journal Entries >>


From Travelers' Rest, Lewis and nine men headed down the Bitterroot River to the Clark Fork.  They crossed that river and headed upstream to Blackfoot River, which they ascended, following the route to the plains used by Nez Perce on their buffalo hunts.

On July 6, they crossed "the prairie of the knobs", Lewis identified the path they were following as a warpath of the Hidatsas.  They passed passed the remains of many Indian lodges, and crossed the Continental Divide at Lewis and Clark Pass, and the next day saw the first buffalo since entering the mountains a year earlier.   Two days later they reported seeing 10,000 buffalo in a 2-mile circle.  They reached Sun River and followed it to their upper portage camp at Great Falls.

On July 16, Lewis and three men set out overland from the Great Falls to explore Marias River.  They wanted to see if it reached 50 degrees north, thus determining the northern boundary of the Louisiana Territory, and satisfying the conditions of the 1783 U.S. Treaty with England. 

July 18th, Lewis' party reached the Marias.  Three days later they reached the headwaters of the Marias and headed up the northern branch (Cut Bank River).  They finally came to a place where they could see the river exiting from the mountains.  Because the river did not reach 50 degrees north, Lewis named the camp "Camp Disappointment". 

On party's return to the Missouri River they met eight Blackfeet Indians.  The Indians camped with Lewis's party on Two Medicine River.  During the night a fight ensued and two Blackfeet Indians were killed.

Lewis's party made a hasty retreat to the Missouri River where they had the good fortune of meeting the boats coming down the river from the Great Falls ( Ordway's party).


Source: US Forest Service
Map Source: The Journals of Lewis & Clark - Edited by Bernard DeVoto



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