In the northern section of Yellowstone Park, if you know where to look, you can still find remnants of the Bannock Trail, a trail across the park used by hunting parties of several tribes. Among these were the Shoshone-Bannock, Nez Percé, Kalispel, Kutenai and Flathead. The trail has probably been used for centuries, but was used more heavily after the bison herds that lived west of the mountains were depleted.
The trail came in from the west over Targee Pass and down into the Madison Valley. It descended Indian Creek to the Gardiner River where it turned north toward Mammouth. The trail turned east, remaining south of the Yellowstone River until the area of Tower Falls. Near the Falls, the Yellowstone River was forded and the Lamar River was followed to Soda Butte Creek. There the trail split, with one branch following Soda Butte Creek and the other leaving the river route to strike out for a more direct route over the divide and into the Clark's Fork drainage. Both major branches, as well as several minor ones, led to a good hunting area in what is now Montana.
The modern highways through the park closely follow the Bannock Trail.
Find books on the Nez Perce Tribe.
© 1995 - Karen M. Strom