One of three sites of the Nez Perce National Historic Park in Montana, the Bear Paw Battlefield is located 16 miles south of Chinook on Highway 240. At this site the Nez Perce Indians surrendered to the US Army on October 5, 1877, after a 1,300 mile retreat. It was here that Chief Joseph spoke his famous words, 'From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.' Facilities include a picnic shelter and restrooms. Overnight camping is not permitted. Wayside exhibits and markers on a 1.25 mile groomed trail through the battlefield interpret this historic event. Park Ranger guided tours are available during the summer by calling 406-357-3130. Also one can do a self-guided tour.
Bear Paw Battlefield is the final stop on the 1300 mile Nez Perce National Historic Trail that traces the retreat of this tribe's non-treaty bands during the 1877 War. The Trail starts in Joseph, Oregon and passes through federal, tribal, state, local and privately owned land in four western states.
Chinook's Blaine County Museum (501 Indiana Avenue) offers a unique multi-media presentation '40 Miles from Freedom' that describes the Battle. The museum also contains an excellent book store and a variety of exhibits on local history, wildlife, and paleontology. Hours are subject to change. Call 406-357-2590 for more information.
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