Nez Perce National Historic Trail maps now available
A new map of the Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail is now available for sale at locations across the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain regions. The map provides visitors with details on a number of locations along the 1,170 mile Trail, which was designated as a National Historic Trail by Congress in 1986.
This map, with an improved color scheme, replaces the last Nez Perce National Historic Trail map which was last revised in 1995. The map, which was produced on a “plastic paper,” sells for $10 at Forest Service and National Park Service offices and online through Discover Your Northwest, the National Forest Store and the USGS Store.
An electronic version of the map is available on the Trail’s website at http://www.fs.fed.us/npnht/publications.
One side of the map provides visitors with an overview of the entire Trail, including information on modern day travel routes and sites to visit along the Trail.
The reverse side of the map gives a glimpse back in time and shows how the region looked in 1877. This side, done in shaded relief, not only shows the route followed by the Nez Perce people during the Flight of 1877, but also shows the boundaries of land traditionally used by the Nez Perce and the subsequent changes brought about by the treaties of 1855 and 1863. This side of the map also shows the routes used by the US Army in its pursuit of the non-treaty Nez Perce during the summer of 1877.
“This route was used in its entirety only once. However, component trails and roads that made up the route bore generations of use prior to and after the 1877 flight of the non-treaty Nez Perce,” said Trail Administrator Sandi McFarland. “The Trail is sacred ground to many people and we hope this new map will enhance the experience of those visiting this region and encourage them to learn more about all facets of the Trail.”
The map also shows the exile of the non-treaty Nez Perce to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Indian Territory in Oklahoma along with the story of Chief Red Heart’s band, who was captured and held captive at Fort Vancouver in Washington Territory until the spring of 1877.
The Nez Perce flight of 1877 symbolizes the dramatic collision of cultures which continues to shape the west and its people. Forced to abandon hopes for a peaceful move to the Lapwai reservation, the Nez Perce chiefs saw flight to Canada as their last promise for peace. The flight of the Nez Perce began on June 15, 1877. Pursued by the US Army, they intended initially to seek safety with their Crow allies on the plains to the east. Their desperate and circuitous route as they tried to escape the pursuing white forces is now called the Nez Perce National Historic Trail.
“Staff from the US Forest Service’s Northern Region cartography spent many hours ensuring the historic accuracy of this map,” said Ray Backstrom, Supervisory Cartographer. “We wanted to make sure that this map would not only give visitors to the Trail a view of this region in 1877, but that it could also serve as an educational tool for those studying this significant event in western history.”
The map also features the photography of Northwest artist Harold Pfeiffer.