Travelers Rest State Park, Lolo Montana

Travelers' Rest State Park


Travelers' Rest State Park, just south of Missoula, MT, is a unique attraction, steeped in history and was twice used by Lewis and Clark as a campsite during their search for a northwest passage over the mountains.

  • Visit Travelers' Rest State Park and walk in Lewis and Clark's steps.
  • Don't miss the Winter Storytelling Series and other available interactive programs.
  • Learn about traditional Salish games like double-ball.
  • Step back in time as you enjoy a costumed re-enactment.
  • Travelers' Rest State Park is just south of Missoula.

Overview

Travelers' Rest State Park, encompassing 51-acres, was opened in 2002 as a way to preserve the natural history and culture of the area. This historical crossroad was used for centuries by Native Americans as a resting spot and a trail junction, but it is Lewis and Clark that helped turned this area into a spot of true significance.

Lewis and Clark camped in many places but Travelers' Rest is one of the only locations where physical evidence of their presence has been recovered. Among the artifacts found were trench latrines tainted with mercury, fire hearths, and lead, presumably used to fix their guns. So when you visit, you can say for sure, “I walked where Lewis and Clark once did.”

Education and interpretation are the focus and heart behind the Travelers' Rest State Park. The park not only focuses on Lewis and Clark but also on the historically strong Native American influence in the area. And, they strive to educate through fun, interactive and ever changing programs. Take in a piece of history and come explore Travelers' Rest.

Location/Information

Travelers' Rest State Park is located just outside of Missoula, MT. Take Hwy 93 south to Lolo and take a right on Hwy 12. Continue for ½ a mile. Historical markers will help lead the way. The park is on the left side of the road.

The park is managed by the Travelers' Rest Preservation and Heritage Association. They do not receive any government funding and rely solely on donations, memberships, and fundraising campaigns.

Phone: 406-273-4253
Website: http://www.travelersrest.org/

Season

Open year-round, but hours change with the seasons.

Cost

The Travelers' Rest State Park is open to all, free of charge. Donations are always welcome.

Individual programs may carry a separate fee. Become a member and support the park. Membership is available in three levels and gives you discounts on programs and purchases made while at the park.

Activities

You will do little resting when at Travelers' Rest. While at the park, take in the daily interpretation, one of the educational programs or re-enactments, go fishing, photograph wildlife, or enjoy the exhibits on display at the Holt Museum.

  • Fishing
    Lolo Creek is easily accessible from the park, so spend the day practicing your casting and envisioning what Lewis and Clark did with their time when at Travelers' Rest. Don't forget your fishing permit.
  • Interactive Displays
    Interactive displays are available for the visual learner. Take a moment and look at the different equipment Lewis and Clark used to navigate, look at what they wore, read journal entries, etc. It will feel like you are stepping back in time.
  • Educational Programs
    Place based educational programs are provided for those of all ages in an effort to create understanding and appreciation of the rich human history preserved at the park. Daily interpretation is provided during the summer. Programs change throughout the year so check the schedule to find one that peaks your interest. Don't miss the costumed re-enactments! During the summer, enjoy the Discover Travelers' Rest series which aims to bring history to life through a variety of demonstrations and re-enactments. In the winter, you won't want to miss The Winter Storytelling Series. This series was started to honor the Salish tradition of sharing history through stories during the winter months. The stories never disappoint.
  • Wildlife Viewing
    The tranquil environment that surrounds Travelers' Rest State Park leads many animals to wonder through the grounds. Keep your camara ready for sightings.  Don't be surprised to see black bear, moose, river otters, and multiple white-tailed deer. Listen for the songs of the black-capped chickadee and northern flicker. You may spot the red tail of the flicker up in the trees.
  • Children's Activities
    Getting kids excited about history can be difficult, but not at Travelers' Rest. Here, kids get excited about history through interactive games and programs. Let your competitive spirit shine as you try your hand at the traditional Salish game of double-ball. Different courses focus on various aspects of history.
  • Holt Museum
    This museum holds the private collection of memorabilia collected over the years by Bill and Ramona Holt. Stories of cowboys and their evolving equipment are on display in different collections including the Cowboys and Indians and the Rodeo's and Pow Wow's collections. This eclectic museum includes saddles, tacks, boots from famous people as well as artifacts from the Salish/Kootenai and Nez Perce tribes. This is like no museum you have ever seen.

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