Fodor's Expert Review Fort Bridger State Historic Site
Started in 1843 as a trading post by mountain man Jim Bridger and his partner Louis Vasquez, Fort Bridger was under the control of Mormons by 1853 after they either purchased the fort or forced the original owners to leave—historians aren't sure which. As the U.S. Army approached during a conflict known as the Mormon War of 1857, the Mormons deserted the area and burned the original Bridger post. Fort Bridger then served as a frontier military post until it was abandoned in 1890. Many of the military-era buildings remain, and the Bridger post has been rebuilt and is staffed by a mountain man and woman. You can attend interpretive programs and living-history demonstrations during the summer, and the museum has exhibits about the fort's history. The largest mountain-man rendezvous in the intermountain West occurs annually at Fort Bridger over Labor Day weekend, attracting hundreds of buckskinners and Native Americans plus thousands of visitors.