Image of Dagger Falls 6

The attraction to Dagger Falls for ancient people was most likely the salmon runs. Historically, large numbers of sockeye salmon migrated up the Middle Fork River to spawn in the upper stretches and tributaries of the River such as Bear Valley (the name of which is derived from the large number of bears attracted to the valley when the salmon spawned). Dagger Falls is a major obstacle to the migrating salmon requiring them to jump up the falls. Many salmon observed by the excavation crew had to make several attempts before success. Between attempts they rested and regained strength in the pools below the falls where they could be speared by skilled fisherman. Adjacent and above the falls is a relatively flat terrace where the fishermen could camp; and this terrace is the location of the campground and site excavation.