Nez Perce Trail
The Nez Perce’s long flight from the US Army through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana ended near Chinook and resulted in exile to Canada and Oklahoma. The Nez Perce were just 40 miles from freedom in Canada when they surrendered.
Cow Island Landing: This remote supply depot at the western limit of low-water navigation on the Upper Missouri refused to sell supplies to the Nez Perce. In a September 1877 skirmish, the Nez Perce destroyed the depot’s supplies before continuing north up Cow Creek drainage toward Canada. Accessible by boat.
Bear Paw Battlefield: The site is a tribute to the Nez Perce people and the battle ending the Nez Perce War of 1877. From here, the trail divides: some escaped to Canada, while others were relocated to Oklahoma. Annual commemoration takes place the first week of October.
The Nez Perce National Historic Trail, designated by Congress in 1986, stretches from the Wallowa Valley of Eastern Oregon to the plains of north-central Montana.
Download “Experience the Nez Perce Trail” Brochure
Blaine County Museum
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 bookstore and a variety of exhibits on local history, wildlife, and paleontology. Hours are subject to change. Call 406-357-2590 for more information.
Approx. round trip distance: 275 miles
Approx. drive time: 5 hours
Ride from Great Falls northeast on US 87 past Fort Benton, Big Sandy, Box Elder, then to the junction of US 87 and 2.