Yellowstone Genealogy Forum


Early Trails Index to Yellowstone County Areas


Thursday, March 04, 2004


Each of the trail segments used to establish early activities in the Yellowstone County areas and on the Crow Indian Reservation partially support one another, but specific details can be more readily found by using this index. Maps and routing details are presented for the sectional areas between the Big Horn and Clark’s Fork or Yellowstone Rivers.

Trail Discusion Title & Associated Link

Description of the Trail & Its Contents

We Call it the Bozeman Trail

Compares the route variances generally called the Bozeman Trail to the BIA Road; and short statements about the trail. Can be used to find the route, which is actually the Sawyers’ Trail.

Monument Trail – Part I

Identifies where the trail is located, and identifies the construction of  the Twin Monuments in Section 5, Township 4 South, Range 25 East. Comparative photos of other types of rock cairns are presented. A Power Point presentation of the trail itself is available. Identification to the wagon roads is started and continued in other sections.

Monument Trail – Part II

Photograph of the Twin Monuments is presented, along with a short discourse of its construction possibilities.

Raynolds Expedition of the Yellowstone River – to the Platte

Jim Bridger guided the government expedition in 1859, and in so doing established the Bozeman Trail route leading from Richards’ Bridge to the Big Horn River crossing at Spotted Rabbit.

Nelson Story & Perry McAdow Supply Train to Fort CF Smith

After the Bozemant Trail between the Platte and the Big Horn was closed in late 1866, produce supplies were freighted into Fort C. F. Smith from Gallatin Valley by the route that Jim Bridger had used as part of his wagon route established in 1864. This trail according to the survey maps passes in part across the South Hills plateaus and near to the Twin Monuments. It also uses portions of the route Bridger established in 1866 between the Big Horn and the Clark’s Fork Rivers.

Early Trails in the Clark’s Fork – Pryor Mountain Regions

 Introduces the various local trails and their routes created by John Bozeman, Jim Bridger, James Sawyers and freighters. The Sawyers’ First Expedition Route he created  in 1865 is identified in detail.

Yellowstone Trails – Sawyers’ 2nd Expedition Route

James Sawyers’ 2nd Expedtion is really only a wagon masters trail he developed in 1866 leading from the Big Horn to Clark’s Fork. This trail, although created by him, to shorten the route he developed in 1865, was first established in 1830 by Jim Bridger when he guided Jedediah Smith’s Rocky Mountain Fur Company’s trappers across the Pryor Creek area. This route, although only used for a few months, is the one generally displayed on trail maps as “The Bozeman Trail.” The first listing, “We Call it the Bozeman Trail” describes where it is located relative to a local area road.

Establishment of the Wagon Trails in South Hills & Crow  Reservation

Recaptures the establishment of the Bozeman Military Trail from Fort Laramie to the Big Horn by Jim Bridger, and his association with Father De Smet.

Diary Extracts for 1865 Trails – Support for Sawyers Route

Diary extracts from Journey to the Land of Gold for travelers using the 1865 Sawyers Trail & others

Diary Extracts for 1866 Trails – Support for Sawyers Route

Diary extracts from Journey to the Land of Gold for travelers using the 1866 Sawyers Trail & others

Jim Bridger’s Activities –Part I & Part II

Summary listing of where Jim Bridger was during his life in the Rocky Mountain areas from 1822 through about 1872. Used as a source record file for his pioneering efforts in exploration, guiding and humanities. There are several hundred pages in the documents along with the source record material identification used for the files.

Corps of Engineers Survey Listing

Summary listing of about 100 surveys conducted into the Louisiana Purchase Territory from 1803 to the late 1800’s. Contains details of the reconnaissance and where the report is published and the types of maps created. Some sketches of the routes are available to interested persons. Portions of the routes describing the above trails were created from the files within this master list. The listing concentrates mainly upon the areas embracing the Yellowstone Valley, Wyoming, the Dakotas and Montana.

Corps of Engineers Summary Listing

Condensed summary of the above listings, concentrating upon the Yellowstone Vallet and River areas from 1805 through 1876. Includes some of Jim Bridger’s excursions.




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