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Creating almost the entire border between Montana and Idaho, the Bitterroot mountains contain some of the most amazing and rugged peaks in the entire United States. The Bitterroot Mountains are named after the state flower of Montana, the small pink bitterroot flower.
First explored by Lewis and Clark, It is one of the most rugged regions in the country, the Bitterroot Mountains were once considered impenetrable except by the brave few. Their account of the deadly crossing between August 25-October 07, 1805 is as follows. “Snow began to fall as the expedition set off for the Continental Divide. Game was scarce in the Rockies, and food supplies ran low. But finally the expedition reached the divide and passed over the other side, down into the Bitterroot Valley.
There the Americans met a band of Flathead Indians and bought more horses for the journey across the Bitterroot Mountains. Crossing this range of the Rockies fully tested the expedition's endurance.
After 11 days in the Bitterroots, the horses were near starvation, the men—who resorted to eating three of the colts—not much better. Emerging from the mountains, they made contact with the Nez Perce and procured from them dried fish and roots.
The captains then set up camp on the banks of the Clearwater River, a branch of the Snake River, itself a branch of the mighty Columbia. There they hollowed five dugouts. The Rockies were behind them, the Pacific in front.
On October 7 they broke camp and started down the Clearwater. At last the expedition had a river's current at its back.”
 The southern half of the range forms part of the continental divide and contains the highest peaks in the region. Included in this area is Trapper Peak, the highest point in the Bitterroot Range at 10,157 feet. The Bitterroot Mountains are indeed one of the most spectacular places in America.
It was in the Bitterroot Mountains that Chief Joseph's Nez Percé band sought refuge on their 1877 retreat from the U.S. Army.

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