Fortunate Camp (1805-1805) - A Lewis and Clark Expedition Camp established in 1805 near present-day Dillon, Beaverhead County, Montana. Now under Clark Canyon Reservoir. Named Fortunate Camp for the fortunate events that took place here. Abandoned in 1805. Also known as Camp Fortunate.
Lewis & Clark below the forks of the Beaverhead River formed by Horse Prairie Creek and the Red Rock River. A part of the party remained at the camp until 24 Aug 1805 while William Clark took a reconnaissance party to the Salmon River to determine if it could be used as a path through the mountains. Clark and his men explored the Salmon River and determined that it was impassable because it was a continuous rapids. The expedition then purchased horses from local Indians and continued on horseback.
The fortunate events that gave rise to the name of the camp included the recognition by Sacagawea of her friend who had been taken prisoner at the same time with her, and who had escaped and rejoined her tribe. Then later, her brother and other family members arrived. The Shoshone were awestruck at the gear the expedition possessed and impressed with the expedition and the men. A friendship and bond developed and the Indians provided the horses the expedition needed for the next leg of the journey and supplies.
The site is now under Clark Canyon Reservoir near Dillon, Montana. Two marker sites are identified but both markers seem to be missing at this time.