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Crossing the Bitterroots, Again
June 10-July 02, 1806
The expedition left the Nez Perce on June 10, each member riding a horse and leading another. Five days later they began to make their way up into the mountains. It had been spring on the plain, but in the Bitterroots it was still winter. Soon they were traveling in ten feet (three meters) of snow, packed so hard that it supported the weight of the horses.
The men couldn't find their way in such deep snow, however, and they were forced to return to the Nez Perce for help. Following Indian guides, they headed back up into the mountains.
On June 30 they reached Traveler's Rest, where Lewis and Clark decided to part ways in order to explore more of the Louisiana Territory. Lewis and nine men would explore the Marias River to the north, while Clark and the others would head for the Yellowstone River in the south.