Fort Fizzle (1877-1877) - Established 25 Sep 1877 by Capt. Charles C. Rawn, 7th U.S. Cavalry, as a temporary fortification to block the advance of Chief Joseph and his Nez Perce Indians. Became known as Fort Fizzle after the Indians climbed a steep ravine behind the ridge to the north of the fort and bypassed the soldiers on 28 Jul 1877.
A temporary fortification of hastily constructed log barricades and shallow rifle pits was constructed on 25 Jul 1877 to block the passage of a band of Nez Perce Indians. A parley was held with the band and they promised to pass peacefully but refused to give up their arms. The Nez Perce avoided a confrontation by climbing a ridge to the north of the fortification and peacefully entered the Bitter Root Valley on 28 Jul 1877. The fortification gained the name Fort Fizzle from locals who were disappointed that the Nez Perce were not confronted.
Fort Fizzle Historic Site Picnic Area parallels the historic Lolo trail once used by the Nez Perce, Salish, and Kootenai tribes and Lewis and Clark. Lewis and Clark's westbound expedition followed Lolo Creek on September 11-20, 1805, and again on June 24-30, 1806, when they revisited the area on their way home. Facilities included interpretive signs and an accessible trail to fishing access. Restrooms and picnic facilities are also wheelchair accessible. Bring your own water. No fees are required for this picnic area, however, reservations for groups of 20 or more are required call 406-329-3814.
Visited: 9 Oct 2010