September 09, 1805
Meriwether Lewis

Set out at 7 A M. this morning and proceeded down the Flathead river leaving it on our left, the country in the valley of this river is generally a prarie and from five to 6 miles wide    the growth is almost altogether pine principally of the longleafed kind, with some spruce and a kind of furr resembleing the scotch furr. [The "longleafed" pine is Ponderosa Pine, Pinus ponderosa. The spruce is Engelmann Spruce, Picea engelmannii. See September 12, 1805, where Clark refers to the latter as "spruce pine."  The "furr" is probably Douglas Fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii which is typical of lower elevations in the Rocky Mountains. The "scotch furr" used for comparison may refer to either the cultivated European Fir, Abies alba or one of the balsam fir species of the eastern United States.] near the wartercourses we find a small proportion of the narrow leafed cottonwood [Black Cottonwood, Populus trichocarpa which is the most common cottonwood species at lower elevation in Montana and Idaho. It is unclear whether Lewis was distinguishing between the two species of cottonwood which occur in the area (P. trichocarpa and P. angustifolia, the typically designated narrowleaf cottonwood), or did not observe this as a separate species. The narrowleaf cottonwood is more common at higher elevations; the black cottonwood has slightly broader leaves but is otherwise similar.] some redwood honeysuckle [Western Trumpet, or Orange, Honeysuckle, Lonicera ciliosa new to science and collected on the return trip.] and rosebushes form the scant proportion of underbrush to be seen.   at 12 we halted on a small branch which falls in to the river on the E. side, where we breakfasted on a scant proportion of meat which we had reserved from the hunt of yesterday added to three geese which one of our hunters killed this morning.   two of our hunters have arrived, one of them brought with him a redheaded woodpecker of the large kind common to the U States.[Red-Headed Woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus or the Pileated Woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus.]    this is the first of the kind I have seen since I left Illinois. just as we were seting out Drewyer arrived with two deer.  we continued our rout down the valley about 4 miles and crossed the river; it is hear a handsome stream about 100 yards wide and affords a considerable quantity of very clear water, the banks are low and it's bed entirely gravel.  the stream appears navigable, but from the circumstance of their being no sammon in it I believe that there must be a considerable fall in it below.   our guide could not inform us where this river discharged itself into the columbia river, he informed us that it continues it's course along the mountains to the N. as far as he knew it and that not very distant from where we then were it formed a junction with a stream nearly as large as itself [The Bitterroot meets the Clark Fork, or Hellgate, River just west of Missoula, Montana.] which took it's rise in the mountains near the Missouri to the East of us and passed through an extensive valley generally open prarie which forms an excellent pass to the Missouri.  the point of the Missouri where this Indian pass intersects it, is about 30 miles above the gates of the rocky Mountains, [Near Helena, MT. The Hidatsas told them of this route, but they had not recognized its eastern approaches on the voyage up the Missouri.] or the place where the valley of the Missouri first widens into an extensive plain after entering the rockey Mountains. the guide informed us that a man might pass to the missouri from hence by that rout in four days we continued our rout down the W. side of the river about 5 miles further and encamped on a large creek which falls in on the West as our guide informes that we should leave the river at this place and the weather appearing settled and fair I determined to halt the next day rest our horses and take some scelestial Observations. we called this Creek Travellers rest. [Lewis and Clark's Travellers rest Creek is now Lolo Creek. The camp was where they remained until September 11, in the vicinity of modern Lolo, MT possibly 1 or 2 miles upstream from the Bitterroot River, on the south side of the creek. Clark's map.] it is about 20 yards wide a fine bould clear runing stream the land through which we passed is but indifferent a could white gravley soil. we estimate our journey of this day at 19 M.

at the creek where we dined I took the Meridian Altd. of Sun's U.L. with Sextant fore obstn 98o 1' 30"

Latitude deduced from this Observation 46o 41' 38.9

September 09, 1805
William Clark

a fair morning   Set out early and proceeded on thro a plain as yesterday down the valley    Crossed a large Scattering Creek on which Cotton trees grew at 1 1/2 miles, a Small one at 10 miles, both from the right, the main river at 15 miles & Encamped on a large Creek from the left which we call Travelers rest Creek.   killed 4 deer & 4 Ducks & 3 prarie fowls. day fair Wind N. W.

[The "Scattering Creek" could be the numerous streams that come into the bitterroot River at this point, including Mill, North Spring, and Burnt Fork creeks, and several dividing branches of the latter.]

Course Distance &c. Down Clark's river

Septr. 6th 1805

N. 30o W. 5 miles crossing the river [Ross' Fork] & a Creek at 1 1/2 m. & thro a vallie to the top of a mountain Covered with pine
N. 80o W. 1 1/2 miles down a reveen & Steep hill Sides to the river [Ross' Fork] at an old Encampment.  a creek left
West 1 1/2 miles down the Creek [River], bottoms narrow.
N. 35o W miles down the <Creek> River which is 25 yards wide passed a run on each side.

Septr. 7th Satturday 1805

N. 40o W. 3 miles down the River aforesaid
N. 80o W. 3 miles down the River to a larke Creek on the left.  bottoms narrow.
N. 45o W. 4 down the river to a Creek [Tin Cup] on the left.   bottoms wider, hills on the right is bald, mountains on our left is high and the tops Covered with snow
North 4 miles to a [Rock] Creek which runs from the Snow toped mountains, passed one on the left at 1 miles & Several Small runs on the right, and left, on Drean
N. 25o E. miles down the River, passed a large [Little Horse] Creek on the left at 2 miles  the Vallie thro which we passed about 2 miles wide, lands pore & Stoney  The foot of the Snow toped mountains approach near the river on the left the river 50 yards wide Shallow & Stoney.  no fish to be Seen  2 Deer 2 crains & 2 Phesents killed to day.

September 8th Sunday

North 11 miles to a small run on the right Side, passed a large Creek at 1 miles one at 4 miles & a Small one at 8 miles, thro' a Call'd Horse Vally
N. 12o W 12  through the Said Vallie to a large Creek from the right divided into 4 diffierent Channels, Scattered Creek

September 9th Monday

N. 15o W. 15 miles Thro a open vallie to the River, leaveing the road to our right Crossed a Small Creek from the left at 9 miles, and the river which is 100 yards wide, & passed through a pine bottom after crossing <The Creek> Clarks River
N. 40o W. 2 miles passing thro' a pine bottom after crossing the river to a large road on the left of the river in an open Vallie
N. 10o W. miles Through an open Valle to a large Creek from the left. Caled Travelers rest and Encamped the 9th & 10th

9th Septr. Contd.

North 12 Miles to the mouth of a lark fork [Hellgate] which Joins from the right and heads up near the Missouri Some distance below the 3 forks,  this River has extinsive Vallies and is a good rout to the Missouri which the Indians say may be traveled in 4 days and is a good rout.  The Vallie near the mouth of this fork is about 7 or 8 miles wide leavel & open, but little timber on this fork in Sight. See the Courses
[William Clark]


Moriah River 47o 29' 10 4/10" N.
Lower part of the falls is in Latd. 47o   8'   4 5/10" N.
upper part of the rapids latd. is 47o   3' 30" N.
Forks of Jefferson 43   30  43
Travelers rest 46   48  28

September 09, 1805
John Ordway

Cloudy.  we Set out [page worn, some words illegible] the valley   the plains Continue crossed Several creeks  a little cotton and pine timber along the banks  the Snow continues on the Mont. each Side of this valley.  one of the hunters killed a goose and a wood pecker. Capt. Clark killed 4 pheasants or prarie hens. we find wild or choak cherries along these branches &C--  we passed through a large bottom of rich land which is covred with handsom pitch pine timber. this creek has got to be a Small handsome River and gentle current we have to wade it often and find it as deep as the horses bellys. our hunters killed three deer and several ducks this day   we Camped [Traveler's Rest Creek, now Lolo Creek, 1 or 2 miles upstream from the Bitterroot River, on the south side of the creek, in the vicinity of modern Lolo, Montana] on the bank of a creek which runs in to the Small River about 2 miles below and bottoms of cotton timber. Smooth handsome plains on each Side of this creek, and pleanty of choke cherries. Mountains of Snow back to our left.  our course has been lately abt. N.W.--

September 09, 1805
Patrick Gass

The morning was fair, but cool; and we continued our journey down the river. The soil of the valley is poor and gravelly; and the high snow-topped mountains are still in view on our left: Our course generally north a few degrees west. We halted at noon: on our way the hunters had killed 3 wild geese; so we have plenty of provisions at present. At 2 o'clock we again went forward, and crossed over the Flathead river, about 100 yards wide, and which we called Clarke's river; passed through a close timbered bottom of about two miles, and again came into beautiful plains. The timber on this bottom is pitch pine. We travelled 19 miles and encamped on a large creek, which comes in from the south. Our hunters this day killed 3 deer

September 09, 1805
Joseph Whitehouse

a cloudy cold morning, wind from the N. W.  we Set out as usal, and proceeded on down they valley.  Smooth pleasant plains, large pitch pine timber along the River.   no timber on the plains but they are covred with grass and wild hysop.  the Soil poor.  crossed Several branches on which is pine timber, also, a little cotton timber &c.  the Snow continues on the Mount. each Side of the valley. .about 11 oClock we halted at a branch to dine  one of the hunters had killed three geese and a wood pecker. [Either the Red-Headed Woodpecker, Melanerpes erythocephalus, or the Pileated Woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus.]   Capt. Clark killed 4 fessents or prarie hens.  we find wild or choke cherries along the branches.   we delayed about 2 hours and a half.  then proceeded on down the valley.   passed through a large bottom covred with handsom pitch pine timber, from that a pleasant plain the remainder of this day.  the afternoon pleasant, but the Snow Still continues on the Mountains as usal.  Came about [blank] Miles this day and Camped on a plain near a creek [Travelers' Rest Creek, now Lolo Creek. The camp, which  they called Travelers' Rest is in the vicinity of Lolo, MT on the south side of the creek, one or two miles above the Bitterroot River.]  which runs in to the River about 2 mls. below.  our hunters all but one joined  us   had killed 3 [The number "3" is written over "2".] Deer and Several ducks this day, &c.  course N. W. and North all day.--

September 09, 1805
Joseph Whitehouse

This morning was cold & the wind blew from the No. West.  We set out as usual, & proceeded on our Journey down the Valley, We passed along smooth plains, covered with high Grass & wild hysop, but the soil poor.--  There was no timber to be seen here excepting some pitch pine trees, which grew along the large Creek or river side.   We proceeded on, and crossed several branches on the sides of which grew Pitch pine & Cotton wood trees.--

The Snow still continued on the Mountains, on both sides of the Valley.  About 11 o'Clock A. M we halted at a branch to dine, where one of our hunters had killed three Geese & a wood peckar, which he brought to us.  Captain Clark went out here to hunt & killed 4 Pheasants, which he brought to us.  we found here wild or choke cherries, growing along this branch--  We delayed at this place about 2 1/2 hours and then proceeded on down this Valley & passed through a bottom covered with handsome pitch pine timber, and the remainder of this day we passed through pleasant plains.   The Snow continuing as usual on the Mountains on both sides of us.  We came about 20 Miles this day, & encamped on a plain, near a Creek which run into the River about 2 Miles below where we were encamped.--  Our hunters all but one joined us here.  They had killed 3 Deer & a number of ducks this day which they brought to us.--  our Course this day has been from North to North West.--