July 10, 1806
Meriwether Lewis

Set out early and continued down the S W bank of the river--

N 75 E   24 m.  to our encampment in a grive of cottonwood timber. [The camp was on the south side of Sun River some four to five miles northwest of the city of Great Falls, MT.]  the latter part of this course for 7 miles there is no timber in the river bottom, the other parts of the river possesses bottoms of the wide leafed cottonwood. [Plains Cottonwood.]   much the greater part of the bottom is untimbered.  the bottoms are wide and level  the high praries or plains are also beautiful level and smooth. great quantities of prickly pear of two kinds on the plains. [Brittle Prickly Pear, Opuntia fragilis and Plains Prickly Pear, O. polyacantha.]  the ground is rendered so miry by the rain which fell yesterday that it is excessively fatiegueing to the horses to travel.  we came 10 miles and halted for dinner  the wind blowing down the river in the fore part of the day was unfavourable to the hunters.  they saw several gangs of Elk but they having the wind of them ran off.  in the evening the wind set from the West and we fell in with a few elk of which R. Fields and myself killed 3 one of which swam the river and fell on the opposite so we threfore lost it's skin.   I sent the packhorses on with Sergt. Gass directing them to halt and encamp at the first timber which proved to be about 7 ms. I retained frazier to assit in skinning the Elk.  we wer about this time joined by drewer.  a large brown bear swam the river near where we were and drewyer shot and killed it.  by the time we butchered the 2 elk and bar it was nearly dark  we loaded our horses with the best of the meat and pursud the party and found them encamped as they had been directed in the first timber.  we did not reach them until 9 P.M.  they informed us that they had seen a very large bear in the plains which had pursued Sergt. Gass and Thomson some distance but their horses enabled them to keep out if it's reach.  they were affraid to fire on the bear laeast their horses should throw them as they were unaccustomed to the gun.   we killed five deer 3 Elk and a bear today  saw vast herds of buffaloe in the evening below is on the river.  <he> we hered them bellowing about us all night.  vast assemblages of wolves.  saw a large herd of Elk making down the river.  passed a considerable rapid in medicine river after dark.  the river about a hundred yards wide is deep and in many parts rappid and today has been much crouded with islands.  from our encampment down we know the river and thre is no rapid and scarcely any courant.  goosberies [Bristly, or Redshoot, Gooseberry, Ribes setosum is the most likely, but White-Stem Gooseberry, R. inerme is also a possibility.] are very abundant of the common red kind and are begining to ripen.  no currants on this river.  both species of the prickly pears just in blume.--

July 10, 1806
Patrick Gass

At dark last evening the weather cleared up, and was cold all night. This morning was clear and cold, and all the mountains in sight were covered with snow, which fell yesterday and last night. At 8 o'clock we started down the river, and in the course of the day our hunters killed five deer, two elk and a bear. The road was a very muddy [sic] after the rain. The country on both sides is composed of beautiful plains; the river about 80 yards wide and tolerably straight, with some cotton wood timber on its banks; and plenty of game of different kinds ranging through the plains. Having made 24 miles we encamped for the night.

[The following is a summary of Lewis's route from Traveler's Rest to Sun River, July 3-10, 1806.  It was written by Clark and placed here by it's last date. Clark apparently received this information after the men reunited in August 1806.]

Courses and Computed Destances from the Enterance of Travellers rest Creek into Clarks River to the Falls of Missouri

North   7 Miles to the crossing of Clarks river, vally wide   the top of the hills covered with long leafed pine bottoms pine & Cotton wood  passed a Small branch at 3 miles on W. Side and at 1 m. further a Small Creek on the E. Side.  at 5 miles Clarks river is jjoined by an Easterly fork 120 yards wide.
N. 75o E.   7 miles through a handsom leavel plain to the point where the East fork enters the mountains, or where the hills close it in on both Sides.  passed a large Creek 15 yd. wide at <5?> 6 miles also one at 3 miles.

(July 4)

S 75o E.   3 miles allong the North Side of the river, the bottoms widen.  a prarie.
N. 45o E.   1 M. passing a small branch at the extremity of this course--.
S. 45o E.   1 M. to the forks of the East fork of Clarks river    a handsom wide plain below on the South Side.
<East   8 Miles to the enterance of warners Creek 35 yards wide through a high enxtensive plain>
East   8 Miles on a Buffalow road up Co-kah-lah-ishkit river through a timbered Country   mountains high rocky and but little bottom land  pore.

July 5th

N. 75o E   3 1/2 Miles passed a Stout Creek on N. Side at 2 1/2 miles   another just above.
N. 25o E   12 Miles  passed a Small creek at 1 mile on the S. Side on which there is a handsome and extencive vally and plain for 10 or 12 miles also another Creek 12 yds wide at 1/2 mile on the N. Side, and another 8 yds wide on the N. Side at 5 miles.  and one 1/2 mile Short of the extremity of the course   arrived at a high prarie on the S. Side from one to 3 miles in width, extending up the river.  great numbers of wild horses on Clarks river about the place Capt. L. crossed it  we saw several
East   6 Miles to the enterance of Warners Creek 35 yards wide through a high extencive prarie on the N. Side.  hills low and timbered with the long leafed pine, larch and Some fir.  the road passes at some distance to the left of the river and these courses is with the river.
N. 22o W.   4 Miles to a high insulated Knob just above the enterance of a Creek 8 yards wide which discharges itself into Werners Creek.
N. 75o E   2 1/2 Miles to the river passing through a handsom plain on Werners Creek  crossing that Creek at one mile and leaveing a high prarie hill to the right seperateing the plain from the river.  Saw 2 swan in this butifull Creek.
East   3 Miles to the enterance of a large Creek 20 yards wide called Seamons Creak, passed a creek at 1 mile 8 yds wide, (this course is with the river) the road passing through a high extencive prarie, a vast number of little hillocks and Sink holes.  at the head of those 2 Creeks is high broken mountains Standing at the distance of 10 m. forming a kind of cove Generaly of open untimbered Country.

July 6th

East   14 Miles to this point at which the river leaves the extencive plains and enters the mountains  these plains is called the prarie of the Knobs, passed the North fork of Cokahlar,ishket river at 7 miles, it is 45 yards wide deep & rapid.  passed a large crooked pond at 4 miles further. Great number of burrowing Squirels of the Species common the the Columbian plains.  the main branch is 50 yards wide and turbid the other Streams are clear, these plains continue their course S. 75o E and are wide where the river leaves them.  up this vally and Creek a road passes to the Missouri.
N. 60o E.   1 1/2 miles up the river.  bottoms narrow and   and country thickly timered. Cotton wood and pine grow intermixed in the river bottoms  passed Several old indian encampments.
N. 80o E.   2 miles to two nearly equal forks of the river   here the road forks also one leading up each river.  passed a Creek on N. side 12 yd. wide.
N. 75o E.   8 Miles over a Steep high bald toped hill for 2 miles thence 3 m. through a thick woods along the hill Side.  bottoms narrow.   Crossed a large Creek in a butifull plain  much beaver Sign.

July 7th

N. 75o E.   6 M. through a leavel butifull plain on the N. side of the river much timber in the bottoms, hills also timbered with pitch pine   crossed a branch of the Creek 8 yds. wide at 1/4 M. also passed a creek 15 yds. wide at 1/4 further.
North   6 ms.  passed the main Creek at 1 Ms. and kept up it on the right hand Side through a handsom plain.  the main Stream [EC: Lander's fork] bore NW. & W as far as I could See it, a right hand fork falls into this creek at 1 me. above the Commcmt. of this course.
N. 15o E   8 Ms. over two ridges  one again Strikeing the right hand fork at 4 ms. then Continuing up it on the left hand Side.  much apperance of beaver maney dams.  bottoms not wide and covered with willow and grass.
N. 15o E   3 ms. up the Same Creek on the E. Side through a handsom narrow plain.
N. 45o E.   2

(106 3/4)

Ms. passing the dividing ridge between the waters of the Columbia from those of the Missouri at 1/4 of a mile.  from this gap which is low and an easy asent, the road decends and continues down a creek.
N. 20o W.   7 Ms. over Several hills and hollows along the foot of the mountain, passed 5 small riverlets [EC: tributaries of Dearborn R] running to the right.

July 8th 1806.

N. 25o W.   3 Ms. to the top of a hill from whince we saw the Shishequaw Mountain about 8 ms. distant imediately before us, passed torrent river at 3 ms.  this Stream comes from the S. W. out of the mountains which are about 5 miles to our left  the bead of the river is 100 yds wide tho' the water only occupies about 30 yds.  it runs a mear torrent taring the trees up by the roots which Stand in it's bottoms, we discover this to be Dearborns River. [The final words, beginning with "we discover," appear to have been substituted for some erased material. The material within quotes comes from Lewis's entry of July 8.]  "The Shishequaw Mountains is a high insulated conic mountain Standing Several miles in advance of the Eastern range of the rocky Mountains" near trhe Meadecine River.
North   14 1/2 Miles through an open plain to Sishequaw Creek 20 yards wide about 10 ms. below the mtn. which bears S. 32oW. from us, haveing left the road to our left which keeps near the mts.
N. 50o E   2

(28 1/4)

Ms. to the <mouth> discharge of Shishequaw Creek into Medecine River through an extencive leavel and butifull bottom.
N. 85o E   8 Ms. down the Medecine river to a large Island.   the bottoms are extensive low and leavel.  the lands of neither the Plain or bottom are fertile  it is of a light colour intermixed with a considerable portion of gravel.  the grass Generaly about 9 inches high.

July 9th

N. 80o E.   4 Ms. through a handsom leavel wide bottom in which there is a considerable quantity of the narrow leafed Cotton wood timber.  The river is genrally about 80 yds wide rapid it's bed is loose Gravel and pebbles  its banks low but sildom overflow.  water clear.
S. 85o E.   4 ms. down on the S W. Side of Medecine river through wide and leavel bottoms  Some timber--.

July 10th

N. 75o E.   24 Miles down the river.  7 ms. of the latter part of the course no timber.  passed a rapid bottom wide and extensive  a great number of small islands in the river.
S. 75o E   8 


miles to the Missouri at the White Bear Islands at the head of the portage above the falls, passed through the plains.  at which place Capt. Lewis continued untill the 15th July 1806 and left 6 men and proceeded towards the head of Marias river with the other 3 men as before mentioned--

The most derect and best Course from the dividing ridge which divides the wates of the Columbia from those of the Missouri at the Gap where Capt Lewis crossed it is to leave a Short range of mountains which pass the missouri at the Pine Island rapid to the right passing at it's base and through the plains pass fort mountan to the White bear Isds or medecine river, a fine road and about 45 miles, reducing the distance from Clarks river to 145 miles--  one other road passes from the enterance of Dearborns River over to a South branch of the Cohahlarishkit river. [EC: via Cadott's Pass? or Still futher South?] and down that river to the main fork and down on the N. Side of the main fork to Clarks river &c.--

July 10, 1806
William Clark

Last night was very cold and this morning everything was white with frost and the grass Stiff frozend.  I had Some water exposed in a bason in which the ice was 3/4 of an inch thick this morning.  I had all the Canoes put into the water and every article which was intended to be Sent down put on board, and the horses collected and packed with what fiew articles I intend takeing with me to the River Rochejhone, and after brackfast we all Set out at the Same time [Ordway indicates that he was in charge of the canoe party, while Clark led the group with the horses on land.] & proceeded on Down Jeffersons river on the East Side through Sarviss [NB: Service] Vally and rattle snake mountain [They were traveling northeast down the Beaverhead River. See August 10, 1805.] and into that butifull and extensive Vally open and fertile which we Call the beaver head Vally which is the Indian name  in their language Har na Hap pap Chah. [The valley of the Beaverhead and upper Jefferson Rivers. For the Beaverhead Rock, which Clark passed the next day on this downriver trip, see entries for August 8-10, 1805.]  from the No. of those animals in it & a pt. of land resembling the head of one  this Vally extends from the rattle Snake Mountain down Jeffersons river as low as fraziers Creek [South Boulder River; See August 1, 1805.] above the big horn maountain and is from 12 [NB: 10] to 30 [NB: 15] miles in width and [blank] [NB: about 50] miles on a direct line in length and Jeffersons river in passing through this Vally reives McNeals Creek [Blacktail Deer Creek near Dillon, MT. See August 10 & 13, 1805.], Track Creek [Rattlesnake Creek reaching the Beaverhead a few miles above Dillon; See August 14, 1805.], Phalanthrophy river, Wisdom river [Ruby (Philanthropy) and Big Hole (Wisdom) rivers near Twin Bridges, MT. See entries for August 5-6, 1805.], Fields river [Boulder River ("R Fields Vally Creek" on Clark's map) meeting Jefferson River. See August 1, 1805.] and Fraziers Creek each throw in a considerable quantity of water and have innoumerable beaver and otter on them; the bushes in their low bottoms are the resort for great numbers of Deer, and in the higher parts of the Vally we see Antelopes scattered feeding.  I saw also on the Sides of the rock in rattle snake mountain 15 big horn animals, those animals feed on the grass which grow on the Sides of the mountn. and in the narrow bottoms on the Water courses near the Steep Sides of the mountains on which they can make their escape from the pursute of wolves Bear &c.   at Meridian I halted to let the horses Graze having Come 15 Miles   I ordered the [NB: canoes] to land.  Sergt. Ordway informed me that the party with him had Come on very well, and he thought the Canoes could go as farst as the horses &c. as the river now become wider and not So Sholl, I deturmined to put all the baggage &c. which I intend takeing with me to the river Rochejhone in the canoes and proceed on down with them myself to the 3 forks or Madisons & galletens rivers. leaveing the horses to be taken down by Sergt. Pryor and 6 of the men of the party to accompany me to the river Rochejhone and directed Sergt. Pryor to proceed on moderately and if possible encamp with us every night.  after dinner had my baggage put on board and Set out, and proceeded on tolerable well to the head of the 3000 Mile Island on which we had encamped on the [NB: 11th] of Augt last. [The island on which the party camped on August 11, 1805, according to Clark's map, was labeled "Otter Isd." "3000 Mile Island" is three to four miles farther down the Beaverhead River, approximately ten miles northeast of Dillon.]   the Canoes passed Six of my encampments assending [Clark's camps of August 11-16, 1805.], opposit this island I encamped on the East side. [The East bank of Jefferson River opposite Three Thousand Mile Island.]   the Musquetors were troublesom all day and untill one hour after Sunset when it became Cool and they disappeared.  in passing down in the Course of this day we saw great numbers of beaver lying on the Shores in the Sun.  wild young Gees and ducks are common in this river.  we killed two young gees this evening.  I saw several large rattle Snakes in passing the rttle Snake Mountain  they were fierce.

July 10, 1806
John Ordway

a Severe hard frost & Ice.   chilley and cold this morning.    one canoe which we thot of no account cut up for paddles and fire wood.    then put the 6 canoes in the water, and put our baggage in them.    at the same time Capt. Clarks party got up their horses and packed up    took breakfast and all Set out by land & water about one time. I proceeded on by water.   the prty by land holds way with us.   we came fast with the canoes too. Collins killed a goose about noon   we halted to dine Capt. Clark & party halted to dine at the Same place as they hold way with us. capt. Clark and Several of his party came in the canoes as it would be easier for the horses untill we git to the 3 forks of the Missourie where they ar to part from us.    the rest of Capt. Clarks party took on the horses &C we proceeded on verry well & fast.   in the evening we Camped [On the east bank of the Jefferson River, the island is about ten miles northeast of Dillon] near the 3000 mile Island, having made 97 miles this day by water. Saw considerable of Small game and a great pleanty of beaver Sign.--