Canoe Camp (Nez Perce NHP) - The Expedition camped here from September 26 to October 7, 1805 while building five canoes for their journey down the Clearwater, Snake, and Columbia Rivers. Interpretive sign.
Nez Perce National Historical Park - Park headquarters and visitor center.
The word Weippe was orginally spelled "Oy-ipe" by General Howard in his journals. A late Nez Perce historian said the name meant "very old place". The Nez Perce also say it may have something to do with a spring of water or camas ground.
The Weippe Prairie was also the scene of horse racing, games and other sports by the first inhabitants. This tradition is still carried on each year with the Annual Weippe Rodeo, an event for all cowboys or all cowboy-want-a-be's.
The town of Pierce was named for E.D. Pierce who discovered the first gold in Idaho in 1860. E. D. Pierce was also the first man to scale California's Mt. Shasta. Pierce and his party laid out the town and called it Pierce City. In the late spring of 1861 several thousand miners crossed the Weippe Prairie to the Pierce gold mining fields. By that summer there were 1600 claims filed in the Pierce district. The gold rush brought about the construction of Idaho's oldest government building, the Pierce Courthouse, which was erected in 1862 to register miner's claims. It is located one block east of today's Main Street at the corner of Court Street and First Ave.
In 1903 the government completed a survey, and soon another boom engulfed the district, timber became the real weath. On the west side of Main Street next to the town library, you will find a screened display that contains a bateau used on Clearwater River log drives. It is only one of four surviving in Idaho.
In 1805, the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery found there was no waterway to the Pacific Ocean. Instead, there were forests and mountains that were almost insurmountable. The Flathead Indians directed them to a 2000 year old trail leading to buffalo hunting grounds. Nez Perce hunting parties usually made their trek every two years. They stayed at the hunting grounds for months, then returned to their Paradise along the Clearwater corridor. The Lolo Trail stretching from the Idaho-Montana border near Highway 12 over the mountain ridges to Orofino, is part of that ancient trail.
The rugged mountains, the dense forest, the swift flowing rivers remain pristine, becoming a Paradise for visitors.