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The Colter Stone has not been authenticated to have been created by John Colter and may have been the work of later expeditions to the region.John Colter is widely considered the first mountain man and, like those that came to the Jackson Hole region over the next 30 years, he was there primarily for the profitable fur trapping; the region was rich with the highly sought after pelts of beaver and other fur bearing animals.Jackson Hole valley climate at that time was colder and more alpine than the semi-arid climate found today, and the first humans were migratory hunter-gatherers spending summer months in Jackson Hole and wintering in the valleys west of the Teton Range.Along the shores of Jackson Lake, fire pits, tools and what are thought to have been fishing weights have been discovered.

A number of stone enclosures on some of the peaks, including on the upper slopes of Grand Teton (known simply as The Enclosure) are thought to have been used by Shoshone during vision quests.More than 1,000 species of vascular plants, dozens of species of mammals, 300 species of birds, more than a dozen fish species and a few species of reptiles and amphibians exist.Due to various changes in the ecosystem, some of them human-induced, efforts have been made to provide enhanced protection to some species of native fish and the increasingly threatened whitebark pine.Colter was later hired by Manuel Lisa to lead fur trappers and to explore the region around the Yellowstone River.During the winter of 1807/08 Colter passed through Jackson Hole and was the first Caucasian to see the Teton Range.

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