Are you and your furever friend
wondering what to do today? If you are traveling through the forested areas of southwestern Montana, a stop at the Big Hole National Battlefield may be in order. Located just outside of Wisdom, Montana, this historic battlefield is situated on the edge of a vast area of forests just waiting to be explored.
Located on 571 acres, the Big Hole Battlefield offers a wonderful experience for those interested in Native American history, as it was the site of a battle between the Nez Perce people and the American military during the Nez Perce Flight of 1877. Many were killed and wounded here, and it was a turning point for the Nez Perce, whose survivors fled into Idaho. The battleground was preserved and now serves as a monument documenting the Nez Perce people, and commemorating the fallen who are buried here.
Three trails have been created to help visitors navigate this site, the Nez Perce Trail which takes you to the historic site of the 1877 battle between the Native Americans and U.S. soldiers, the Siege Area Trail that leads to the attack the Native Americans made on the U.S. troops, and the Howitzer Trail that travels uphill to a scenic overlook of the area. All three trails can be started at the trailhead. Maps and informational guides for the area are placed at the trailhead during the summer and fall seasons, and the winter guides can be picked up inside the Visiter Center during the winter months. A small $1.00 charge covers the cost of the guide.
While the battlefield itself is open daily from sunrise to sunset, the Visitor Center hours are 9 am to 5 pm in the summer, with winter hours shortened to 10 am to 5 pm to allow for snow removal of roads and parking lots.
Unfurtunately, there are restrictions pertaining to where dogs can go at the Big Hole Battlefield. While your pup is not allowed to go inside the Visitor Center, hike the trails or visit the actual battlefields, they can take a leashed walk with you along the two paved roads. The road to the Visitor Center, called Park Entrance Road, starts off of Highway 43 and loops around the parking area, and covers about 0.4 miles. Another road splits off from Park Entrance Road that heads to the trailheads, and stretches for about 1 mile. Your pup can traverse these two roads, and even have a meal or snack at the picnic tables with you in the parking area for the trailhead. Service animals are allowed to explore the Visitor Center, trails and battlefields. Waste bags are available in the Visitor Center parking area, but be sure to bring water to share.
For other hiking opportunities, check out the campgrounds, trails and forested areas nearby, such as Shaw Mountain, Bender Point, and the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.
Visit the Big Hole National Battlefield with Fido today!