Chief Joseph Trail Ride

Approximately 200 riders will be gathering at the Musselshell Work Center near Kamiah, Idaho this weekend for the Chief Joseph Trail Ride. The group will hit the trail on Monday August 6th. This year’s segment of the ride will travel the Lolo Trail, located in the Clearwater National Forest, a remote area between the nearest towns of Kooskia, Idaho and Missoula, Montana. The Lolo Trail area is a National Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. It includes the Lolo Trail Corridor, the Nez Perce and Lewis and Clark National Historic Trails, and the Lolo Motorway.

We’re excited that a writer for Homestead Magazine, a John Deere publication, will be doing a story on the ride. Our resident photographer Kevin Pullen will undoubtedly be providing some great pictures as well.


  1. Nilei Harrington Said,

    November 4, 2007 @ 1:51 pm

    I have a question.. how do the folks attending w/o a shower – take a shower?? and is there anyone who might meet to share the drive out to the ride?? and how to contact , or would it be better to run a ad in the Journal … thanx!! ps: would really like to speak to someone who HAS gone on the ride as I plan on going in 2009

  2. Steve Said,

    November 4, 2007 @ 9:03 pm

    There are some very effective solar showers that many trail riders use. Folks are always willing to loan the use of one as long as the water supply holds out.

    It would be a good idea for us to post a list of people signed up for each ride so that others might contact them about making the trip. I’ll pass that suggestion along to Kevin Pullen, our trail/distance coordinator.

    In the meantime, feel free to email or call kevin and ask him to refer you to someone you can talk to.

  3. Nilei Harrington Said,

    November 4, 2007 @ 9:22 pm

    That would be very nice for those of us in northern states.. and quite the drive to get there . were the rigs allowed this year I heard it was tenting? and will that remain the same in future rides for the Chief Joseph – would be nice as it seems to me, that is more true to their past.. I dont believe they had the luxury back then.

  4. Nilei Harrington Said,

    November 9, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

    Thank-You !! to Steve for the information.. got the rider list for 07′ hopefully will find a buddy-up fellow rider to either follow or ride with and expenses in gasoline shared.. see ya’ in 2009 either way.

  5. Del "Abe" Jones Said,

    July 13, 2008 @ 1:24 pm


    The land of Winding Waters
    In the place known as Oregon –
    Sacred land deeded to them
    At the first rising of the sun –
    These Nez Perce, people of Joseph
    Were the heart of their homeland –
    Where the great eagle soared the sky
    Above treetops of forests, grand –
    Where ponies grazed the green glade
    And naked boys, mounted bareback
    Laughing and shouting happily
    Raced to some certain place and back –
    Young bodies glistening with droplets
    Of crystal, cool water that cools –
    Bronze skin drying in bright sunlight
    On sandbars of eddying pools –
    A land of peace and contentment
    Where man could walk, proud and free –
    Where his roots grew deep into the Earth –
    Where heart and soul would always be –
    They would fish for the great Salmon
    On their homeward river run
    Bound, with great determination
    To where their life had first begun –
    Something in their blood akin to mans’
    When he has long been on the roam –
    Some compelling force within
    That leads him back to his home –
    They seemed insurmountable –
    Those obstacles to be leapt –
    But only death would stop his trek
    To where heart and soul were kept.
    The Salmon jumped high from the water –
    Buried ‘neath the Earth the Camas roots –
    Herds of Buffalo across the mountains
    Known as the Bitterroots
    It truly was a land of plenty –
    Blessed by the Great Chief in the sky
    And loved by the Nez Perce people
    Born there to live until they’d die –
    It was home, their heritage –
    Where their forefathers’ wisdom
    Echoed from the Burial Grounds
    Which was listened to and done –
    Around campfires Chiefs told stories
    Of the paleface searching for the sea –
    How, Chief Twisted Hair drew a map
    To show them where it might be –
    They returned with tales of conquests
    Which still live until this day –
    Of how this Indian Nation helped
    Lewis and Clark find their way.
    A peaceful tribe like most
    Who tried to share with the white man –
    Until the forked-tongued ones
    Tried to force them from their land –
    Under the flag of truce –
    Fired on by those in blue –
    Chief Joseph gave the war cry
    Of the battle that ensued –
    Nearly three months of fighting
    As the Nez Perce tried to flee
    To the safety of Canada
    Where they hoped they could be free –
    But the bluecoats kept on coming –
    And despite their valiant fight
    Joseph bowed in surrender
    On one cold September night.
    He said, “Most of our Chiefs are killed
    And too many Braves lay dead.”
    As he cast down his rifle
    He raised his blanket o’er his head –
    He said, “My heart is sick and sad.
    Our children freeze in the weather.
    From where the sun now stands,
    I will fight no more, forever.”
    Placed on far-off reservations
    And finally back to the Northwest –
    Never to return to Wallowa
    The land they loved, the best –
    One hundred-fifty of them left
    Sent to the Colville Reservation –
    Sentenced to a life of poverty
    Was another Great Indian Nation.
    In the year of nineteen hundred-four
    Chief Joseph’s Spirit did depart –
    And a doctor who examined him
    Said, “He died of a broken heart.”
    In this story lies a moral
    And a shameful legacy
    That to this day defiles the words,
    “The Land Of The Free!”.

    Del “Abe” Jones

  6. Dana Said,

    September 20, 2008 @ 8:13 pm

    Do you have to own/ride an Appy to be able to ride in the Chief Joseph trail ride?

  7. Steve Said,

    September 22, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

    Yes. Appaloosas are required on this ride, in part because of the historical connection and the heritage of the trail. Ownership is not a requirement.

  8. BJ McCauley Said,

    May 23, 2009 @ 8:51 am

    You can contact eh ApHC and they might tell you the names and phone numbers of people from your area who will be going on the ride. I have been on the ride 26 years in a row. I hung up my spurs in 2001.

  9. Larry Said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 5:13 pm

    Does anyone happen to know a William Marsalis from Cave Creek, Az. He is my cousin and I have been looking for him. He is also a retired airline pilot.

  10. Debra Bumpus Said,

    April 27, 2011 @ 11:05 pm

    I would very much like to be in touch with riders who have been on the Joseph ride more than once.

    I would esp. like to contact some of those who have been involved in the organizational end of the ride. Please pass on my email to those who may be interested in contacting me.

    Thank you

  11. Jojo Said,

    September 28, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

    What if you have a solid colored half Appy/ QH? Would you still be able to do it, or does it have to be a full blood Appy with a pattern?

  12. Steve Said,

    September 30, 2011 @ 6:36 am

    Just needs to have ApHC registration paper. We do have solids participating on the ride.

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