Memorializing Bernard DeVoto on Lolo Pass
Bernard DeVoto was a historian of the American west (and early expert on Mark Twain) whose works include, among other things, an abridged edition of the Lewis and Clark journals, first published in 1953 and still widely used today. In fact, this is the version of the journals I use when I need a basic overview (the complete journals are, of course, very extensive and take up several volumes).
On the Idaho side of Lolo Pass, along U.S. 12 fairly close to the top, is a beautiful grove of old-growth red cedars and other trees called the DeVoto Memorial Cedar Grove. Travelers can stop and walk among these majestic beauties and experience this spot along the Lochsa River where DeVoto himself camped and wrote when researching and editing the Lewis and Clark journals so many decades ago. DeVoto was also a conservationist and promoter of the idea of public lands.
Look for this sign along U.S. 12 to stop at this site named for Bernard DeVoto.
There are several interpretive signs about DeVoto, the expedition, and the forest, as well as a wheelchair-accessible paved path winding among the trees and ferns. It provides a very peaceful and refreshing stop for wayfarers driving along this famous route.
Path and interpretive sign in DeVoto memorial grove. Some of these trees are over 2,000 years old.
A short distance below (to the west of) the DeVoto grove on the Idaho side is a site named for expedition member Joseph Whitehouse, one of the handful of men who kept a journal. The expedition camped in the vicinity of Lolo Pass visitor center (see earlier post) after ascending along or close to Lolo Creek, then descended the Lochsa for a while before crossing to the mountain ridges to the north of the river to follow the Nez Perce trail down and out of the Bitterroots (on their westbound journey).
Interpretive marker for Whitehouse Pond, near the point where the westbound expedition left the Lochsa River.
[All photos by K. Dahl, copyright 2006.]