Near Pinedale in Sublette County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Wind River Mountains
The Wind River Mountains form the Continental Divide, with water flowing into three watersheds: the Columbia, Colorado, and Missouri Rivers. Rocks in these mountains are over one billion years old, although the mountains arose during the Laramide Orogeny 80-35 million years ago. Several ice ages, beginning around 500,000 years ago, carved rocks into their present shapes. Numerous glaciers still exist with permanent ice. The range is bounded by Union Pass at the northern and South Pass at the southern end.
100 miles long, 30 miles wide
Often called "The Winds"
Over 1,3000 named lakes
Over 600 miles of hiking trails
3 designated wilderness areas: Bridger, Fitzpatrick, and Popo Agie
40 named peaks over 13,000 feet in elevation
Major glaciation retreated around 15,000 years ago, and glacial melting is still ongoing
Signs of human occupation have been found at 11,000 feet elevation dating back to 11,000+ years ago
Union Pass, first documented by Wilson Price
Gannett Peak is the highest peak in Wyoming rising 13,809 feet above sea level. Geographically, it is the apex of the entire central Rockies. A popular climbing destination, Gannett Peak is named after the 1906 American geographer Henry Gannett.
Sometimes mistaken to be the highest peak in the Wind River range, Fremont Peak, 13,745 feet, is the second highest. It is named for American explorer John Charles Fremont who climbed the peak in 1842, guided by mountain man Kit Carson.
Mount Bonneville rises 12, 590 feet in the Wind River Mountains. When traveling east on Pine Street in Pinedale, the peak is in nearly a direct line view. It was named after explorer Benjamin Bonneville.
Temple Peak rises 12,977 feet in the southern Winds. Its sharp-pointed shape is very distinctive when seen from the northwest, but from the souther view it appears rounded and is difficult to distinguish.
Emigrants on the Oregon Trail in the mid-1800s wondered how they were going to cross the seemingly impenetrable Rocky Mountains. However upon reaching South Pass, some commented it seemed hardly noticeable as they crossed over the Continental Divide. South Pass was first documented by Robert Stuart in 1812. It is just right of Temple Peak in the (panoramic) photo below.
Emigrant wagon train crossing South Pass color sketch by William Henry Jackson.
The cirque is a popular destination in the southern Winds for technical rock climbers. The granite mountains form an almost circular hole or valley carved by glaciers that retreated some 15,000 years ago. The towers rise to nearly 13,000 feet in elevation. Climber Orrin Bonney gave the area its name in 1941.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Natural Features.
Location. 42° 52.796′ N, 109° 58.953′ W. Marker is near Pinedale, Wyoming, in Sublette County. Marker can be reached from East Green River Road near U.S. 191. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pinedale WY 82941, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ancient Pronghorn Kill Site (here, next to this marker); Rendezvous - Birth of an EmpireUpper Green River Rendezvous (within shouting distance of this marker); Rendezvous on the Green River (within shouting distance of this marker); The Green River Drift (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to the Riparian Community of Duck Creek (approx. 2 miles away); First Holy Mass in Wyoming (approx. 3.2 miles away); Pinckey W. Sublette (approx. 3.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pinedale.
More about this marker. This marker is located at Trapper's Point Overlook.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 25, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 106 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 25, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.