Stop #16: Beaverhead Gateway Dillon, Montana

On the way to Idaho the next morning, we stopped at Beaverhead Gateway Ranch which is a ranch (self explainable) that controls the grazing of cattle. Controlled Grazing is important because it helps the Rangeland (i.e. lands on which the native vegetation is predominantly grasses) sustain itself.

The wetlands there were drained in the 1960’s, But when the new owners came they restored them, forming a new habitat for wildlife. Sandhill canes are their most popular bird, and we were able to observe them from afar.

Then we drove on. Did you know that a part of the road crossed the Lewis and Clark Expedition route?

The Lewis and Clark Expedition (also known as Corps of Discovery Expedition) began on August 31, 1803, and ended on September 25, 1806. Its purpose was to explore the newly acquired western portion of the USA after the Louisiana Purchase.

President Thomas Jefferson tasked Meriwether Lewis with exploring lands west of the Mississippi River. The expedition included a native American woman Sacagawea.

Lewis and Clark Expedition image from Wikipedia

The expedition began in St. Louis, Missouri, and the end destination was the pacific ocean near present day Astoria, Oregon, where Fort Clatsop was established.

I have found some great facts about the expedition:

  • They traveled more than 8,000 miles
  • Identified at least 200 botanical samples and 120 animal specimens
  • Initiated peaceful relations with dozens of Native American tribes

The main goal of the expedition was to find an all water route across the continent which they failed to achieve.

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