As Life Flourished
The Bitterroot Valley became a travel route for several Native American tribes that passed through on their way to the eastern plains to hunt bison. Only the Salish-speaking people considered the Valley their home. They were hunters and gatherers who lived off the area's abundant native plants and animals.
It was not long before the Native Americans had to share the abundant resources of this lush valley. On September 9, 1805, Captain Merriweather Lewis and William Clark, crossed the Continental Divide and traveled through the Bitterroot Valley with their Shoshone guide, Toby. Accounts of their travels lured missionaries, trappers, loggers, and other white settlers to the Valley.