after struggling over the Bitterroot
Mountains at Lolo Pass, Lewis
and Clark followed the Clearwater
River into the lands of the Nez PercÚ, who helped them complete their
journey. But by 1877, the
Clearwater had become an escape route for the Nez PercÚ, as Chief
Joseph led his band along it and through Lolo Pass in hopes of
somehow escaping the federal troops swarming to intercept them.