Wyoming Trivia (Renamed) (Rock Springs, Kemmerer, Fort Washakie: transporting, companies, remodel)
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Leaving the Rendezvous, any trappers transported their furs Northeast when leaving Wyoming as it was the quickest way to get to St. Louis. On particularly bad part of this trail along the Big Horn River was named for its difficulty. Why did they travel Northeast, what is the name of the trail, how old is it and tell us a little about its history.
Correcting a couple of misspelled words in the post above...
Keeping with the Mountain Man vein...
Leaving the Rendezvous, many trappers transported their furs Northeast when leaving Wyoming as it was the quickest way to get to St. Louis. One particularly bad part of this trail along the Big Horn River was named for its difficulty. Why did they travel Northeast, what is the name of the trail, how old is it and tell us a little about its history.
it shows the "Historic route of the Bad Pass Trail".
The trail was named Bad Pass, because it was so difficult (also known as Sioux Trail & Shoshone Trail), but it bypassed the even more difficult rapids in that stretch of the Bighorn River that passed thru its 1,000' deep canyons.
Note this photo shows the river after it was damed, it was much narrower and full of rapids before the dam was built.
If you google for "Bad Pass Trail" you would have found many hits such as:
. Bad Pass Trail:
.Pre-historic trail system eligible for the Natinal Record. It is marked by 560 rock cairns for over 13 miles. Used by early trappers and explores, military, and homesteaders. Slightly modified by early homesteader and settlers. A major section was destroyed by the main park road. Period of significance 1850. Built beginning in 8000 BC to 1915 AD
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area - Bad Pass Trail (U.S. National Park Service)
The Bad Pass Trail, marked by rock cairns, weaves its way along the rugged western edge of Bighorn Canyon, from the mouth of the Shoshone River to the mouth of Grapevine Creek. One may guess from its name that the Bad Pass trail was not an easy trail. It was better than the alternatives of crossing the mountains or the dangers of possibly drowning in the untamed waters of the Bighorn River coursing through the canyon. The Crow told stories of evil spirits that resided in the canyon, serving as an
High Traffic Area Native people walked and camped along this trail for 10,000 to 12,000 years while traveling to the buffalo plains. Early trappers and traders such at Jim Bridger and Jedediah Smith used it to transport furs to St. Louis, avoiding the dangers of floating the Bighorn River. Later ranchers and settlers used the trail to get to their property on the Dry Head. As the settlers started to use the Bad Pass Trail, foot and horse traffic turned to freight wagons and then to vehicles. This was still not an easy trip. It was a well known fact by those that drove along the trail, that they should always carry a tire repair kit with them as they were almost guaranteed at least one flat tire along the way.
. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area - Mountain Men and the Bad Pass Trail (U.S. National Park Service)
Mountain Men on the Bad Pass Trail One may guess from its name that the Bad Pass Trail was not a good road. As captain Bonneville related his travels of 1833 to Washington Irving, he talked of crossing the Bighorns by "a rugged and frightful route...called the 'Bad Pass'" It wasn't just terrain that caused them problems. Mountain men recorded at least one mauling by a grizzly, four mountain men were killed by Blackfoot Indians along the trail.
While many mountain men whose names we'll never know frequented the Bad Pass, a list of those who are known reads like a Who's Who of*Mountain Men. Jim Bridger, Jedediah Smith, Thomas Fitzpatrick, and Bill Sublette were just a few of the well-known men who traversed the Bad Pass trail.
Some of the more prominent expeditions that crossed the trail include:.
• In 1824, Andrew Henry led the first major (non-native) pack train over Bad Pass while on his return from the rendezvous held by his company on the Sweetwater River.
• On his way from rendezvous on Henry's Fork of the Green river in July 1825, William Ashley's party carried 100 packs of beaver (at 3 packs/horse) over Bad Pass. Ashley's arrival in St. Louis was celebrated on October 4, 1825, where he delivered pelts worth $50,000 (equal to nearly $1 million today).
• Traffic on the Bad Pass in 1833 was heavier, and included pack trains from three major parties, which were led by Captain Bonneville, Nathaniel Wyeth, and Robert Campbell.
All of these groups were returning from the "big doin's" at rendezvous on the Green River.
Map of the Bad Pass Trail http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/natio...yon_park97.pdf
Bighorn River Canyon National Recreation Area - AllRedLodge.com (http://www.allredlodge.com/attractions/bighorn_canyon.php - broken link)
The Indians referred to Bighorn Canyon as Bad Pass. The trail they used to follow buffalo traced the canyon's rim. The Indians marked the Bad Pass route with rock carins. A few of these still exist today. One can be found near the Devil Canyon Overlook.
. Greybull Photos
In the northeastern portion of Bighorn County lie the Pryor Mountains named after Nathaniel Pryor who was a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition which passed to the north. Through these mountains is the Bad Pass Trail used by early mountain men to carry furs from the Bighorn Basin east to the Missouri River. Artifacts found in the pass indicate that the pass has been used for the last 10,000 years. The first European to use the pass was Francois Larocque, a trapper with the British Northwest Company in 1805. The pass was later utilized by the Rocky Mountain Fur Company in 1824 and 1825. In the later year, General William Ashely transported some $50,000 in furs through the pass..
Yellowstone Genealogy Forum - Monument Trail and Cairns
A major, and very visible Indian Trail is located between the Big Horn Canyon and Pryor Mountains. This trail has been called the Sioux Trail, Shoshone Trail and Bad Pass. A survey of the literature indicates that its most often used name is the Bad Pass of the Big Horns or simply Bad Pass as current researchers now call it. This trail can be traced for over ten miles from near Sikes Springs in the Big Horn Basin to the Dryhead area north and east of the Pryor Mountains. Archaeologists have studied over one hundred-seventy stone Cairns associated with the trail.* Of thousands reported to have existed before the turn of the century, an estimated 300 still exist. Artifacts recovered during various archeological investigations indicate that the Bad Pass Trail and camps along the route have been used for thousands of years. Since several tribes traveled between the Big Horn Basin and the plains north of the Pryor’s it is likely that they used the Bad Pass on occasion. The Crow Indian Plainfeather made one reference to the Bad Pass Trail. He stated: “... In order to travel the route which has always been commonly known as Bad Pass, it is necessary to travel along the Pryor Mountains to Dry Head Creek and then south above the headwaters of the small creeks flowing into the Big Horn River and into the state of Wyoming.” This was the trail, which the Indians used to travel from the lands that are now Big Horn County, Montana, into the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming. Bad Pass was a very rough trail. The northern end of Pryor Gap contains a short trail similar to the one in Bad Pass. A line of Cairns may be seen running from near shoot-the-arrow rock northward to the edge of a plowed field. This trail has also been studied by archaeologists and has been used during the last thousand years into historic times. This trail, like Bad Pass led from the mountains to the plains south of the Yellowstone, a region which in historic times contained herds of Bison beyond numbering.
OK since NO ONE got this one, next question:
Who, other then native americans, first discovered coal in Wyoming? When, where and how was it discovered?
Last edited by CptnRn; 01-28-2010 at 05:06 PM..
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