Chinook’s Bear Paw Battlefield

From Havre, we traveled east on US Highway 2 about 20 minutes to Chinook, MT. To get a good overview of the area’s history we visited the Blaine County Museum on Main Street. You’ll find dinosaur info here since this is one of the locations on Montana’s Dinosaur Trail, but there is much more. My favorite here is an amazing video titled Forty Miles From Freedom about the battle that occurred 16 miles south of Chinook. Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce surrendered to end this battle.

Although it was getting late and a bit breezy, we drove out to the Bear Paw Battlefield and hiked the interpretive trail.This battlefield is a unit of the Nez Perce National Historic Trail and is managed by the National Park Service. There is usually a park ranger on site during summer months to provide explanation about the battle.

There is very little development at the battlefield, mostly interpretive signage near the parking area, then you can take the 1.25 mile hiking trail. It was early evening when we were there, perfect for birdwatching, perfect for hearing the sounds of silence.

At each interpretive location we read the brochure provided by the Blaine County Museum and learned the sad history here.

If we hadn’t taken this 15 minute drive south of Chinook, we would have missed so much. I’d recommend it to anyone.




Leave a Comment