Updated Nez Perce National Historic Trail Map Now Available

Release Date: Aug 22, 2016  

OROFINO, ID – An updated map of the Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail (NPNHT) is now available for sale at locations across the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain regions. This map, with an improved color scheme, provides visitors with details on a number of locations along the 1,170 mile Trail, which was designated as a National Historic Trail by Congress in 1986.  

The map, which was produced on a “plastic paper,” sells for $10 at Forest Service and National Park Service offices, local museums, and online through Discover Your Northwest, the National Forest Store and the USGS Store.

One side of the map provides visitors with an overview of the entire Trail, including information on modern day travel routes and sites to visit along the Trail.

The reverse side of the map gives a glimpse back in time and shows how the region looked in 1877.  This side, done in shaded relief, not only shows the route followed by the Nez Perce people during the 1877 war and flight, but also shows the boundaries of land traditionally used by the Nez Perce and the subsequent changes brought about by the treaties of 1855 and 1863.   This side of the map includes the routes used by the U.S. Army in its pursuit of the non-treaty Nez Perce during the summer of 1877.  One will find information about existing travel routes in the region in 1877, missions and stage stations of the era.   

“This route was used in its entirety only once.  However, component trails and roads that made up the route bore generations of use prior to and after the 1877 flight of the non-treaty Nez Perce,” said Trail Administrator Sandra Broncheau-McFarland.  “The Trail is sacred ground to many people and we hope this map will enhance the experience of those visiting this region and encourage them to learn more about all facets of the Trail.”

The map also shows the exile of the non-treaty Nez Perce to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Indian Territory in Oklahoma along with the story of Chief Redheart’s band and others, who were captured and held captive at Fort Vancouver in Washington Territory until the spring of 1878.   Information is included about the nearly 300 Nez Perce who fled the Bears Paw Battle and made their way north to Canada.

Their desperate and circuitous route as they tried to escape the pursuing military forces is now called the Nez Perce National Historic Trail.

“Staff from the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Region cartography group and NPNHT staff spent many hours ensuring the historic accuracy of this map,” said Ray Backstrom, Supervisory Cartographer.  “We wanted to make sure that this map would not only give visitors to the Trail a view of this region in 1877, but that it could also serve as an educational tool for those studying this significant event in western history.”

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