For a long time, a marker along US 93, just south of Lolo in the Bitterroot Valley, noted that explorers Lewis and Clark stopped at that location. Then, researchers found actual evidence that the Corps of Discovery did stop there, but not at the confluence of Lolo Creek and the Bitterroot River, but just a little farther up the stream on Lolo Creek. It is one of the only places where we know they passed through. In fact, they stayed at the location twice - heading over to the Pacific Coast and then coming back.

Travelers' Rest State Park has become a "must stop" location for those interested in our country's history. The park entrance is not on US 93, but just a short way up Highway 12. There's plenty of parking and you can cross a pedestrian bridge and literally walk in the footsteps of the explorers. Vivaca Crowser tells us that the park's fall hours start Wednesday, September 1, when the gates will open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. However, pedestrian entrances are open during daylight hours between sunrise and sunset every day of the year.

In September, The visitor center is open every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Fall Programs include:

  • September 11 at 11 a.m. - Trekker Kids program with family fun.
  • September 11 and 12 - 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Commemorate the 1805 Lewis & Clark Expedition with guests speakers and activities.
  • September 22 - 6 p.m. - A Fall Equinox Walk around the park.
  • September 25 - 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Public Lands Day - volunteers can help improve the park area.
  • September 25 at 11 a.m. - Trekker Kids program.
  • October 9 at 11 a.m. - Trekker Kids program.
  • October 23 at 11 a.m. - Trekker Kids program.

In October, the park's visitor center will only be open Wednesday through Sunday. There's more at the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks "state parks" page. The state park also has a Facebook page. Or you can call them at 406-273-4253.
Travelers Rest Connection also has a great website that keeps you up-to-date on events. Check 'em out!

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