In 1877, 750 anti-treaty Nez Perce fled from Lake Wallowa, Oregon to Canada, which they considered their last option for a peaceful life. Pursued by U.S. Army forces, the Nez Perce took a circuitous route through four states before ultimately ending at Bear Paw Battlefield, Montana, just 40 miles shy of the Canadian border. It was here that Chief Joseph, concerned for the women and children of the tribe, surrendered and promised to “fight no more forever.”
The Nez Perce Trail is more than 1,170 miles long and was used only once in its entirety. The portion of the trail that passes through Wyoming bisects the northwestern corner of the state at Yellowstone National Park and Sunlight Basin.