john colter

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Grand Teton celebrates John Colter Day June 29

Illustration "Old Bill Williams" by Alfred Jacob Miller.

The annual John Colter Day celebration will be held Monday, June 29, at Colter Bay Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park. Colter explored the vast Yellowstone country during the winter of 1807-08, and was likely the first European-American to travel the region. This marks the eighth year that Grand Teton has offered special presentations to highlight the life of John Colter and the mountain men of the 1800s. Continue Reading →

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Early Yellowstone explorer John Colter runs for his life in 1807

Illustration "Old Bill Williams" by Alfred Jacob Miller.

People have told and retold John Colter’s adventures with embellishments that turn him into a legendary figure like Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyon. But Colter really did cross the plains naked after outrunning hundreds of Blackfeet warriors who were screaming for his scalp. He really was the first white man to visit what is now Yellowstone Park. And his reports of a stinking place where springs spout steam and boiling water were greeted as fantasy and labeled “Colter’s Hell.” Continue Reading →

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