Union Pass, so named in 1860 by Captain William F. Raynolds during the Hayden Surveys of Wyoming, provides access across the Continental Divide in the Northern Wind River Mountains. Ancient peoples used this pass for centuries, with use by fur trappers beginning in the early 1800's. Wilson Price Hunt, an Astorian, crossed Union Pass in 1811, seeking buffalo to feed his party while en route to the mouth of the Columbia River. Jedediah Smith camped with the Mountain Crow during the winter of 1823-24 near Dubois, Wyoming and learned of Union Pass. Because of the deep snows, his attempt to cross failed. The Crow then told him of another pass, later named South Pass, which became the route through the mountains for the Oregon, Mormon and California Trails. Mountain men Jedediah Smith, William Sublette, Robert Campbell, Jim Bridger, and David Jackson also crossed while trapping for beaver. Union Pass is the source of the three major rivers in the American West. To the north, the waters of the Wind River flow to the Gulf of Mexico; the waters of the Green River to the south flow to the Gulf of California and the waters of the Gros Ventre to the northwest flow to the Pacific Ocean via the Snake and Columbia Rivers. Union Pass offers a majestic view of the Rocky Mountains including the Wind River Range, the Absaroka Mountains, the Gros Ventre
Mountains, the Teton Range and the Wyoming Range. As those who came before us, abundant wildlife and alpine vegetation can be viewed year round in this beautiful high altitude setting of 9,210 feet.