The Big Hole National Battlefield has transitioned into its summer operating hours, with a newly renovated visitor center.

The battlefield, just over Chief Joseph and Lost Trail Passes from the Bitterroot, will be open from 9am to 5pm seven days a week.

The site of a battle between Chief Joseph's Nez Perce and the 7th US Cavalry is near Wisdom Montana and on opening celebration and exhibit dedication of the new center will be June 2nd at 1 pm.

Valley schools have discovered the educational value of the park. For instance, Darby Elementary has a field trip this week, and other valley schools are taking part in the Battlefield's Coyote Camp the week of May 21-25.

They include classes from Daly Elementary, Victor and Corvallis.

Group reservations are required for the schools and groups, and the applications are available on-line. Fill out that form and fax it or mail it to the battlefield.

The Big Hole National Battlefield offers three trails that takes visitors to the actual sites where the events happened in August of 1877, when the fleeing bands of Nez Perce fought the cavalry. Between 75-90 Nez Perce died and 31 soldiers and volunteers lost their lives.