The following is from the book, Encyclopedia of American Indian Wars, by Jerry Keenan.
Big Hole National Battlefield
The Battle of the Big Hole on August 9 and 10, 1877, was a turning point of the Nez Perce War, a five-month war in which U.S. Army forces tried to place one third of the Nez Perce tribe on a reservation. The fighting began in White Bird Canyon in Idaho and had a dramatic ending in the Bear Paw Mountains of Montana.
Self-guiding tours take you to many points on the Battlefield. A short drive to the lower parking area connects with foot trails to the Nez Perce Camp, the Siege Area, and the Howitzer Capture site. The walks each take about an hour. Ranger conducted programs are offered in summer; introductory presentations and exhibits are available year-round.
Fishing is allowed within the National Battlefield and the National Forest as provided by Montana law. Hunting is prohibited. There are several picnic tables in the Battle Area near the lower parking lot. No camping or overnight facilities are provided, but several campgrounds are located nearby. Ask at the Visitor Center for details.
The Visitor Center offers basic orientation through an audiovisual program and exhibits, including the original mountain Howitzer from the battle.
The Battlefield is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the remainder of the year.
Facilities such as a gasoline station, a grocery store, restaurants and lodging (although limited) can be found in Wisdom, Montana. There are more complete services in Butte, Montana, to the northeast, or Salmon, Idaho, to the west.
P.O. Box 237
The Battlefield is located 10 miles west of Wisdom, Montana, on Montana Highway 43.
The nearest airport is at Butte, Montana, 75 miles east, or Missoula, Montana, 110 miles north.
Season of Operation
Hours of Operation
Winter: Daily 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Summer: Daily 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Closed New Years Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Appointments required for groups.
Personal Check (In State)
Services and Amenities