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Wandering WY: Fort Bridger State Historic Site

My Great Grandma once told me that I was born in the wrong time. The question is, what time should I have been born in? There is something incredible to me about the period of the mountain men. They disappeared from civilization into a vast wilderness where they lived by their wits and could not take one day for granted. Mountain men for the most part lived in harmony with the tribes whose land they explored and hunted, often marrying among them to ensure hunting rights and survival. In the meantime, they forged the trails that thousands of emigrants would follow to their new homes in the west. One of the most famed of these mountain men was Jim Bridger, after whom Fort Bridger is named.

First built to be a supply stop for the many emigrants along the Oregon Trail route, Jim Bridger and Louis Vasquez set up operations in 1843. You can visit a reconstruction of this part of the Fort still today. It is probably the closest to what you imagine a wild west fort to be out of any that I've ever seen.

Later, the Mormons took it over building on to the fort and even establishing Wyoming Territory's first school. In order to expand the defense of emigrants along the trail, the military obtained the fort in 1858. Walking through the grounds of the Fort the military ones are what remains standing.

We went too late in the season to explore the museum that is also on the grounds of the fort in the old barracks, however, it supposedly holds artifacts from each time period of Fort Bridger's existence. I don't regret going so late in the year with the Fall colors on full display, but I would probably go back in the summer to explore both museum and the building more thoroughly.

This stop is well worth the trip no matter which direction you're traveling from! There is no camping at Fort Bridger itself, but adjacent to it is a campground with various options for lodging. I would definitely call ahead if you plan to stay in the area for the night for better details.

Who is your favorite mountain man? If you could travel back to any time period, which would you choose and why?

Thank you, fellow adventurers! You can follow the lilmissbearpaw blog page on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @lilmissbearpaw for sneak peeks into upcoming posts and my adventures. This will also be a great place to share your own adventures!


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