Wind River Valley's First Inhabitants





Thousands of years before the arrival of European trappers and settlers, early Indians of unknown origins roamed the Dubois area and left behind stone tools and other evidence of their presence for archaeologists to discover and ponder. But who they were remains a mystery.

The distinctive petroglyphs (rock art) pecked and carved on rocks in the Dinwoody and Torrey basins near Dubois are thought to have been the work of ancestors of the modern-day Shoshone tribes who moved up from the Great Basin around three thousand years ago.

Their descendents, the Sheep Eater Indians (Mountain Shoshone), developed a lifestyle perfectly adapted to their rugged mountain homeland that sustained them for hundreds of years. However, the Sheep Eaters' harmonious way of life ended when the Yellowstone area became a national park. They were rounded up and moved to other reservations.

The remains of the Sheep Eaters' hunting traps and blinds, teepee rings, and vision quest sites are still visible in the mountains around Dubois.

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