Big Hole National Battlefield

Picture at 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.

Picture at Big Hole National Battlefield

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.

Contact Information

PO Box 237
Wisdom, MT 59761

Phone: 406-689-3155
Fax: 406-689-3151


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

All Year

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 Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Appointments required for groups.

Payment Methods

Personal Check (In State)
Personal Check (Out of State)
Travelers Checks


Walk-Ins Welcome

Services and Amenities

Pay Telephone
Public Restroom
Senior Discount
Unescorted Tour


Fly Fishing
Native Art

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