7. Packer Meadow

Directions:

Packer Meadow is located west of the Lolo Pass Visitor Center on Highway 12 at the Idaho-Montana state line. From the visitor center parking lot, take Forest Service road #373 approximately one mile. You will see the meadow and interpretive sign on your right.


About:

Packer Meadow is a beautiful camas meadow located west of the Lolo Pass Visitor Center near the Idaho-Montana state line. The meadow is an important site for both the Nez Perce and the Salish people. Native Americans historically visited this site to harvest the camas flower, or “Quamash.” The root of the flower was an important food source to these people; many compare the taste to a sweet potato when cooked.


Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery passed through the meadow on two occasions. On September 13, 1805, the Corps reached Packer Meadow during their journey west, stopping there to camp. On their return trip, June 29, 1806, the Corps stopped to rest their horses in Packer Meadow, then continued on to what is now known as Lolo Hot Springs to make their camp for the night and soak in the water.


Camas flowers have six petals and can vary in color from pale violet to deep blue. When the meadow is in full bloom, it can look like a lake of brilliant violet. Packer Meadow blooms annually, typically in mid to late June.