History and Culture Landing Page

Women camping in the 1920s


The First National Forest

The Shoshone National Forest was first created in 1891 as part of the Yellowstone Timberland Reserve. This part later became the Shoshone National Forest, the first national forest in the nation. 

The Shoshone has a rich cultural history. Archaeological and ethnographic investigations indicate that people have lived in the area now known as the Shoshone National Forest for at least 10,000 years. The Arapahoe, Blackfeet, Comanche, Crow, Nez Perce, Northern Cheyenne and Sioux tribes used the Shoshone for traditional cultural practices and subsistence living.The Shoshone takes its name from the Shoshoni Indians living in the area.

Famous mountain men such as John Colter and Jim Bridger were early visitors, as well as miners who sought their fortunes in the area's mountains. The ghost town of Kirwin, an early-day mining town, is a window to the past, recalling one of the colorful eras in Wyoming's history. The remains of tie hack flumes and cabins on the southern end of the forest are reminders of another era during which millions of railroad ties were produced.