Immediately west of the Continental Divide, on August 13th 1805, Lewis came upon two Shoshoni women and a girl who were digging edible roots. Lewis gave them presents and convinced the women that the party came in peace and asked to be taken to the Indian camp. Soon they were joined by a large number of Shoshoni warriors on horseback.
The next three days were spent exchanging information between the two groups. It was here that Captain Lewis gained acceptance of the tribe, as Sacajawea had recognized the Shoshone chief, Cameahwait, as her brother, as well as a childhood friend. The girl had been with Sacajawea when both were captured, but had escaped and returned to her people.
Several strokes of luck including Sacajawea’s recognition of her brother and Clark’s nick-of-time arrival, led to the Camp Fortunate name.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition stayed for several days with the Shoshones and traded for horses at the site that is now inundated by Clark Canyon Reservoir. The captains also secured information from the Shoshone. An old man of the tribe described a trail that led across the Continental Divide. The trail was used by the Nez Perce, who lived on the far side of the Rockies. Now the Expedition had a way over the mountains. On August 18th, Clark left Camp Fortunate and crossed Lemhi Pass. His objective was to determine if the Salmon River could be descended by canoe.
While visiting enjoy the view and history of Clark Canyon Reservoir, and if you like to fish this is a great spot so bring your gear.
Travel Montana - Lewis and Clark
Travel Montana - Camp Fortunate