Jim Bridger (1804-1881) was among the foremost mountain men who explored and trapped the Western United States during the decades of 1820-1840. Bridger began his colorful career at the young age of 17, as a member of General William Ashley's Upper Missouri Expedition.
In the winter of 1824-1825, Bridger gained fame as the first white man to see the Great Salt Lake (though that status is now in dispute). In 1841, he established Fort Bridger on the west bank of the Green River. In 1850 he discovered what would eventually be known as Bridger's Pass, looking for an alternate overland route to the South Pass he discovered in 1827. Bridger Pass would later be the chosen route for both the Union Pacific Railroad and Interstate 80.