Get on the History Trail for Old Bill’s 

JACKSON, Wyo. — Get outside to support nonprofits while enjoying local history. With changes to the in-person Old Bill’s 25th Anniversary gathering on the Town Square, the Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum (JHHSM) offers a historic route for your walk or run.

The History Trail on Teton Pass is a great way to visit historic sites along a popular route long used by residents of the valley.

Men hauling gas over Teton Pass through narrow road in the snow. JHHSM Collection 1958.2994.001.

This important travel corridor has brought people into the Tetons for at least 10,000 years, beginning with the area’s indigenous people, to Mountain Men who began using the route in 1811, to a major highway today. Fun fact, the first horse-drawn wagon navigated the pass in 1886!

The History Trail generally follows the way of this Old Wagon Route. As you follow the trail, picture yourself among the passenger wagons and freight sleighs that traversed the route before the Old Pass Road was constructed around 1913.

JHHSM staff and Board Vice President Marlin Risinger stand next to a previously painted stone that once advertised Reed’s Hotel in Jackson to those traversing the Pass. Photo: JHHSM

Favorite highlights include the former location of the Roadhouse at the top of the pass, a Ford tractor that powered a rope tow for skiers from the 1940s-60s, and Sawmill Meadows where the metal remains of a 1912 mill rest.

The JHHSM and Forest Service created a handy History Trail guide that can be downloaded to help you locate the historic markers on your trip. The trail guide will lead you through cultural sites from the east side of the Teton Pass parking lot to its end at Trail Creek Trailhead.

Of course, you can also hike the History Trail uphill or take a side trip to Crater Lake for refreshing, cool water. Whether you walk, run, or hike – it’s a great trip through local history.

For even more background on this still well-used route, view this JHHSM short video from our ABCs of Jackson Hole video series.

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Brought to you by the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum

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