In the winter of 1807-08, on a solo journey of 500 miles, John Colter became the first European to see Jackson Hole and the Teton Mountains in what became Wyoming Territory. Colter stands here, not enthralled by the magnificent mountains, but cocking his flintlock at the hint of danger from man or beast. – Illustrated By Andy Thomas –
John Colter was a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806). Though party to one of the more famous expeditions in history, Colter is best remembered for explorations he made during the winter of 1807–1808, when Colter became the first known person of European descent to enter the region now known as Yellowstone National Park, and to see the Teton Mountain Range. Colter spent months alone in the wilderness, and is widely considered to be the first mountain man.
John Colter crossed the Continental Divide, at either Union Pass or Togwotee Pass, in 1807, when he explored the region that was dubbed “Colter’s Hell” and became Yellowstone National Park. Crossing the Divide by Frank McCarthy (1924-2002), oil on canvas. – Courtesy Tim Peterson Family Collection, Scottsdale’s Museum of the West –
John Colter by Burton Harris John Colter may have been the first man to see the wonders of Yellowstone. And he did it alone via foot during the winter of 1807-08 after taking part in the great Lewis and Clark expedition!