Bear Paw Battlefield
Photo courtesy: Bear Paw Battlefield
Lloyd is near the Bear Paw Mountains on Snake Creek, where Chief Joseph made one of his great stands. In 1890, when the Judith Basin began to be invaded by homesteaders and farmers, the Judith Basin Cattle Pool decided to move its thousands of cattle to the rich range along the Milk River and the Bear Paw Mountains. The new headquarters for the reorganized pool, called the Bear Paw Pool, was on a ranch owned by L.B. Taylor near the present town of Lloyd. Herds of cattle varying from two to three thousand head were rounded up and driven across the Missouri River at Judith Landing. (from Cheney's Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company)
Bear Paw Battlefield is located 16 miles south of Chinook on Highway 240. At this site, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce surrendered on October 5, 1877 after a 1,300 mile retreat. It was here that Chief Joseph made his eloquent speech of surrender, stating, "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever." A self guided trail, picnic tables, and restrooms are available.
Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, located between the Milk River and Little Rocky Mountains, is home to the Gros Ventre and Assiniboine tribes. Guided tours are available to Snake Butte, Mission Canyon, Bear Gulch and St. Paul's Mission. Watchable wildlife include a buffalo herd, deer, antelope, migratory waterfowl and upland birds. Annual events include Milk River Indian Days and Hays Powwow.
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