The Five Baddest Mountain Men in Wyoming History
Not surprisingly, five of those 10 bonafide badasses have connections to the Cowboy State.
We couldn't decide which of these legendary mountain men was the toughest, so here's the five baddest dudes in Wyoming history, in alphabetical order.
William Henry Ashley - A pioneer of the early 19th century fur trade, Ashley and his entourage, known as "Ashley's Hundred", discovered the South Pass route across the Continental Divide in southern Wyoming. Ashley also established the first rendezvous events, where trappers and Native American tribes would gather and sell their goods to regional traders.
Jim Baker - After the fur trading industry declined in the 1840s, Baker made a name for himself as a scout along the western frontier. Originally hired as the chief scout at Fort Laramie, Baker eventually helped the Mormons settle in Utah before retiring to a ranch on the Little Snake River in Wyoming. During his life, Baker was married 21 times.
Jim Bridger - Arguably the most influential mountain man ever, Bridger was one of the first white men to ever see Yellowstone. He discovered a shortcut on the Oregon Trail. Bridger's Pass, as it would become known, became the route for the Union Pacific Railroad and, later, Interstate 80. He's also known for blazing the Bridger Trail through Wyoming and Montana.
John Colter - The first of the men on this list to explore the west, Colter was part of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Known for traveling alone during the brutal Wyoming winters, Colter became the first white man to document Yellowstone and the Tetons. Several Wyoming landmarks are named after him, including Colter Peak and Colter Bay.
John "Liver Eating" Johnson - Out of all the mountain men, Johnson certainly had the most imposing nickname. Johnson earned his infamous moniker after his wife was, allegedly, killed by a member of Crow tribe. According to legend, Johnson embarked on a vendetta against the Crow where he killed, scalped and consumed the livers of over 300 men. In 1974, 74 years after his death, his remains were relocated to Cody, Wyoming.