A Brief History of the Rocky Mountains

rockMountainMany of the trails you’ll be exploring in your Jeep will wind through the Rocky Mountains, or simply the Rockies. For those of you that like to know a little more about the area, today’s brief history lesson on the Rockies should be an interesting read.

The Rockies were once the home of notable indigenous people such as the Apache, Sioux, Ute, and Blackfoot tribes. During this time, the people hunted for now extinct species of animals such as the legendary mammoth in the foothills and valleys. Today, the Colorado’s Continental Divide still holds evidence of rock walls intended to drive game that date back more than 5,000 years.

In the 1540s, Spanish explorer Francisco Vázquez de Coronado became one of the first Europeans to set foot in the Rocky Mountain region. With the European influence, Native Americans were introduced to things like the horse, metal tools, rifles, and, unfortunately, new diseases.

In 1793, Sir Alexander MacKenzie became the first European to cross the Rockies. He was followed years later by the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, which became the first scientific reconnaissance of the mountain region.

During the 1800s, the Oregon Trail was active, gold had been discovered, the transcontinental railroad was built, and Yellowstone National Park opened its doors in 1872.

The next time you travel through a Rocky Mountain Jeep trail, take a moment to appreciate its history.

This update is provided by Ouray Mountain Adventures, Incorporated. Our Ouray Jeep trails allow you to explore the Rocky Mountains and we offer full or half day reservations. For more information on our Ouray Jeep rental rates and options including available vehicles, rates, and rental policies, call 970.919.1005 or 888.919.3256. You can also visit us at 125 3rd Avenue, Ouray, Colorado 81427.