This photograph represents the Sweetwater River of the State of Wyoming. It had long been used as a road by trappers, explorers and Mountain Men. In 1870, when William Henry JACKSON roamed these areas, there were fewer and fewer trappers. He was witnessing the end of the golden age of Mountain Men due, in part, to over-hunting, causing the decrease of beaver populations. In addition, the fashion of beaver furs came to an end in Europe from the 1840s, resulting in a fall in income for trappers and, in turn, participate to the gradual end of these itinerant lifestyles.
William Henry JACKSON also painted these places, still little visited and unknown to the general public, during the Hayden expedition.