Near Burlington in Big Horn County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Shortcut to the Goldﬁelds
Bridger Trail - 1864
† † † This region is totally unfit for either rail or wagon roads and can only be traversed with the greatest of difficulty.
You are standing near the Bridger Trail which is visible as you look towards Bridger Butte to the north. The Devilís Backbone, the roughest descent on the trail, is situated at the northern edge of the plain as the trail drops down into the Whistle Creek Valley.
† † † With the discovery of gold in western Montana in 1862, it became apparent that a direct route had to be opened from the east to allow freight and emigrants to reach the booming goldfield communities. In the spring of 1864, Jim Bridger guided 62 wagons from Fort Caspar through the Bighorn Basin to Virginia City avoiding the “Bloody Bozeman” trail, which crossed tribal lands east of the Bighorn Mountains. Approximately 2,500 people in 10 wagon trains traveled the trail during 1864, with Bridger guiding a second wagon train over the 510-mile route in the fall.
† † † After 1864, the route known as the Bridger Trail was only used occasionally due to the lack of water and grass. But the ruts and the man for whom it was named are indelible marks on the pages of frontier history.
Erected by Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources.
Location. 44° 27.514′ N, 108° 31.61′ W. Marker is near Burlington, Wyoming, in Big Horn County. Marker is on Greybull Hwy (U.S. 20 / 16), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Burlington WY 82411, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within walking distance of this marker. McCullough Peaks Wild Horses (a few steps from this marker).
More about this marker. A map of the Bridger Trail in Wyoming and Montana appears at the upper left of the marker.
Categories. • Roads & Vehicles •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 9, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 197 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 9, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.