If you like history, dressing up, or exploring a different time period, drop by the Riverton Mountain Man Rendezvous. Akin to a Renaissance Fair, historical reenactment participants dress in period costume and participate in life circa 1838. No time machine necessary.
Welcome to the 1838 Riverton Mountain Man Rendezvous
The 1838 Riverton, Wyoming Mountain Man Rendezvous is part cultural experience, part historical reenactment, and part get together. Folks from around the country travel to the various mountain man rendezvous reenactments. It’s a celebration of the mountain man way of life, complete with nightly music, stories around the campfire, and even knife throwing! Thanks to the people who attended the Rendezvous and kept journals, the 1838 Rendezvous is the most well-documented of the 16 held in the region! It is also the only reenactment in the country held on the original rendezvous grounds.
Explore the Historic Site
The site is full of vendor tents, selling everything from artisan beadwork, furs, and top hats to knives and books. It really feels like you’re stepping back through time to see what life was like in 1838. The shops are set up in canvas structures, a testament to how the mountain men of yore practiced Leave No Trace principles.
If you’re looking to purchase goods, be forewarned, some traders will only trade with other vendors. Don’t be too offended if someone won’t sell you a dashing top hat. After all, the Rendezvous was originally held by fur traders, not fur sellers!
Learn Some Mountain Man Rendezvous Skills
Past the vendor tents, folks who are fully participating in the 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous have their residence tents set up. There’s a large mess hall where people gather, eat, and catch up. People wander around the site to chat with neighbors, borrow or barter for supplies, and generally just enjoy the company and the great outdoors.
At the end of the trail, a shooting range is set up for participants and visitors alike. People can try their hand at shooting black powder rifles. It’s easy to forget the early process of shooting a gun, but in the past, it was quite involved to load another ball. In addition to the black powder shoots, several other “how to” classes are held at the 1838 Riverton Mountain Man Rendezvous.
The Environmentally-Conscious Mountain Man
According to the 1838 Rendezvous Association, “Mountain Men left no physical trace of their lives upon the western landscape and this site is dedicated to the men, women and children who moved so lightly upon the world that only the land and the river remain as a witness to those shining times.” Leaving a natural place better than we found it is a lesson all outdoor enthusiasts can take to heart!
In addition to the interesting wares, historical demonstration, and kid-friendly games, there are nightly Council Meetings that discuss all matter of Rendezvous official business.
For more information on the 1838 Riverton Mountain Man Rendezvous, be sure to follow them on Facebook!
While you’re in town, check out everything else Riverton, Wyoming has to offer!