Arminto in Natrona County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Bridger Road – Waltman Crossing
Here the present-day highway crosses what remains of an all but forgotten road. That road led to the remote goldfields of western Montana, booming since 1862.
The government, in 1859, ordered Captain W.F. Raynolds, Topographical Engineers, U. S. Army, to reconnoiter Rocky Mountain topography and potential routes leading to areas of indicated mineralization. Old Jim Bridger, noted explorer since fur trade days, was Raynolds’ guide. In 1864 official energy was still concentrated on the Civil War and that most famous of mountain-men laid out this road himself.
The Oregon Trail was the trunk line of western roads. Although Montana’s mines lay far north of its course, further west - - - in Idaho - - - a branch-road turned off to those diggings. But that right-angle-turn added some 200 time-consuming, exhausting miles to the shortest feasible roadway. During 1863, John Bozeman had pioneered a road, east of the Big Horn Mountains and up the Yellowstone Valley, cutting across the angle, saving two weeks travel time. Still, by crossing Indian hunting grounds, his road increased the hazard of overland freight and travel.
Bridger’s route - - - west of the Big Horns - - - reduced danger from Indian attacks while saving ten days time. But the Bridger Road was a compromise. It never was as well known
Location. 43° 4.503′ N, 107° 14.705′ W. Marker is in Arminto, Wyoming, in Natrona County. Marker is on U.S. 26, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located in a rest area on the north side of US-26. Marker is in this post office area: Arminto WY 82630, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. “Committed to the Land” (a few steps from this marker); Mama Sage (a few steps from this marker); Hell’s Half Acre (approx. 8 miles away).
More about this marker. A map at the upper left of the marker shows the location of the Montana gold fields; Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahoe hunting grounds; and the Oregon Trail, Montana Road, Bozeman Road and Bridger Road.
Categories. • Exploration • 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 171 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 9, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.