Shortcut to the Goldfields

Shortcut to the Goldfields (HM1MOG)

Location: Burlington, WY 82411 Big Horn County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 27.514', W 108° 31.61'

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Bridger Trail - 1864

      This region is totally unfit for either rail or wagon roads and can only be traversed with the greatest of difficulty.
     - U.S. Army Lieutenant Henry Mayandier, while attempting to map a wagon route across the Big Horn Basin in 1860
You are standing near the Bridger Trail which is visible as you look towards Bridger Butte to the north. The Devil's 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.
Placed ByWyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, August 9th, 2015 at 2:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12T E 696751 N 4925781
Decimal Degrees44.45856667, -108.52683333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 27.514', W 108° 31.61'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 27' 30.84" N, 108° 31' 36.6" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)307
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Co Ln 38, Burlington WY 82411, US
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