Videos Featuring the Nez Perce National Historic Trail

Walking on Sacred Ground

This 2004 video shares the importance of the Lolo Trail National Historic Landmark to the Nez Perce. Many who travel this rugged route today may not be aware that the natural and cultural resources along the Lolo Trail are deceptively delicate. Walking on Sacred Ground explains why this landscape—from its cultural importance to modern Nez Perce people, to its sensitive mountain habitats—is so remarkable. 16 minutes.

A Landscape of History

The Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail traverses a landscape of history and carries understanding to those who travel it. For thousands of years the Nez Perce, who call themselves Niimiipuu (The People), followed this trail across the mountains to visit friends and relatives on the plains, to trade and to hunt buffalo.

Then in 1877, it became a trail of sadness. More than 750 Nez Perce, mostly women, children and elderly, made a heroic yet futile flight seeking freedom and peace far from their homeland. They found only bloodshed and suffering as U.S. soldiers relentlessly pursued them.

Congress established the 1,170-mile Nez Perce route as a National Historic Trail in 1986 to ensure significant sites will be preserved for future generations.

As you stand in the exact places the combatants stood, you will realize what happened in 1877 -- when a group of people fought for and lost their homeland-- could be a story from today's headlines. But you may also feel hope in knowing the decedents of those who once met in battle now walk this trail together. 20 minutes.


Visit the USDA Forest Service YouTube channel for more great videos about your National Forests!

Key Contacts

  • Sandra Broncheau-McFarland, Administrator  NPNHT
    North Fork Ranger District-Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest
    12730 Hwy 12
    Orofino, Idaho 83544
    (208) 476-8334
  • Roger Peterson, Public Affairs Specialist
    Building 26 Fort Missoula Road
    Missoula, MT 59804
    (406) 329-3540
  • Ryan Domsalla, CP Revision Coordinator
    Building 26 Fort Missoula Road
    Missoula, MT 59804
    (406) 329-3288