The Oregon/California Trail: Fort Bridger to Fort Hall

This is the second in a three part series of posts on the Oregon Trail. The first is titled The Oregon Trail, Fort Kearny to Fort Bridger, and the third is The Oregon Trail in Idaho and Oregon. I plan to continue to update and improve these posts and I appreciate your feedback and comments.

After crossing the Continental Divide at South Pass the westward emigrants entered the heart of fur trapping country. This was the Green River drainage, an area that had been extensively explored in the 1830's by Jedidiah Smith on behalf of General Ashley's Rocky Mountain Fur Company. Not a trapper himself, Ashley, along with his partner Major Andrew Henry, recruited young men to follow the tributary streams of The Green River, harvesting thousands of beaver pelts during the last heyday of the fur trade.
As well as exploring the region for fur trapping opportunities, Ashley had the secondary purpose of following up on the possibility of  a water route to the Pacific Ocean. The idea that a …