On their famous expedition, Lewis and Clark passed through Idaho’s Lemhi Range, marvelling at the quick landscape transitions and gorgeous scenery. The area is still well-known for its colorful wildflowers like these arrowleaf yellow balsam-roots, lupine and purple delphinium. Captain Lewis collected several new plant species in Idaho including mountain maple, common snowberry and Lewis’s monkey flower. Modern day explorers can follow in the expedition’s footsteps on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and experience the same awe without the 19th century hardship. Photo of moonrise by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
The wildflowers are on full display at Lemhi Pass in Idaho. This location is where Lewis and Clark crossed over the Continental Divide in 1805. This marked a major milestone in the U. S. westward expansion, but Lewis and Clark were not the first people to use the pass. They followed a well-traveled Shoshone Trail. Sacajawea lived as a child below the pass along Agency Creek until age 12 when she was captured during a battle with another another tribe and forced to North Dakota. It was here that she became part of the Corps of Discovery with Lewis and Clark and proved to be invaluable to the success of the expedition. Today the pass is traversed by a 35-mile long graded unpaved Backcountry Byway through public lands. Interpretive pullouts and scenic views abound. Pictured here are arrowleaf balsam-root (yellow), lupine and delphinium (purple) at sunset. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands