Camas Prairie

Camas Prairie is interpreted at a highway pullout on the north side of U.S. Highway 95, about 6 miles south of Grangeville, Idaho. This large prairie was a Nez Perce gathering place where camas roots were harvested for thousands of years. Several nontreaty bands gathered at Tolo Lake in early June 1877 in anticipation of moving to the Nez Perce reservation. In response to the forced move and other hostile actions, several young Nez Perce people took actions that precipitated the 1877 Nez Perce War. Camas Prairie is a large area, mostly privately owned, that extends many miles between the Salmon and Clearwater River drainages. Most of the area is agricultural.

Named for the Blue Flowering Camas - an important food source for all interior Northwestern Native Americans - the Camas Prairie is a traditional Nez Perce gathering place.

Tolo Lake provided a campground for the Wallowa and Salmon River bands before war broke out at White Bird, south of here, on June 14, 1877. Three young men from White Bird's band avenged a long series of past wrongs and Army authorities retaliated.