Chief Joseph Scenic Byway

A Heroic Journey

In the spring of 1877, Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians made a daring escape worthy of a movie. Pursued by the United States Cavalry in an attempt to force the tribe off their native land and onto a reservation, Chief Joseph made a plan to lead his people 1,800 miles north into Canada. After moving stealthily through Yellowstone National Park, the group found themselves on a mountain pass surrounded by General Sturgis and his cavalry. But instead of surrendering, they stirred up their horses to create giant clouds of dust, dropped through a narrow gorge previously thought to be impassable, and escaped into a deep canyon below. While the tribe was ultimately captured only 40 miles from the Canadian border, the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway commemorates this heroic journey with 46 miles of breathtaking mountain scenery. Carving a diagonal line through the Shoshone National Forest and curving around thrilling switchbacks, you’ll experience unbeatable views of northwest Wyoming. Discover Yellowstone’s geological wonders and immerse yourself in the spectacular countryside of the Clarks Fork Valley as you follow in the footsteps of this iconic humanitarian.

Itinerary Overview

Suggested Time:

5 Days | 4 Nights

This itinerary was created in partnership with National Travel Center.

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Chief Joseph Scenic Byway

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Chief Joseph Scenic Byway

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