The Inspiration

Elijah Nicholas Wilson
(Uncle Nick Wilson)

In 1856, Nick Wilson ran away from home at age 12 with the Shoshone Indians. He was adopted by the mother of Washakie, Chief of the Shoshone, and lived with them for two years. Nick later rode for the Pony Express and drove for the Overland Stage. In 1889, Nick brought one of the first wagon trains over Teton Pass into Jackson Hole. The trip over Teton Pass was about 14 miles and it took 21 days to complete and became the main route into Jackson Hole for settlers coming from Idaho and Utah. The town of Wilson, Wyoming at the foot of Teton Pass still bears his name today. There were only two women in the valley at the time of Nick’s arrival. The introduction of the five families had a civilizing influence on the area.

Elijah Nicholas Wilson
(Uncle Nick Wilson)

The Beginning

Bill & Joyce Thomas
Jim, Sandra, Billy

In 1974, Nick’s great-grandson, Bill Thomas, and his wife Joyce, wanted to keep the pioneer spirit alive so they started the Bar T 5. The Bar T 5 included a dinner ride on horseback up Cache Creek Canyon and a 4-day, 3-night wagon train trip through the Northern-most pass in the Teton Mountains. In 1983, the evening dinner ride evolved into using covered wagons. The symbol of the Bar T 5 is the brand of the Thomas family. The T standing for Thomas and the 5 represents Bill and Joyce with their 3 kids.

In 1994, Bill Thomas passed away, his wife sold the businesses to her two sons, Jim and Billy. Jim took the dinner ride and Billy took the 4-day, 3-night trip. Then in 1996, Billy, the youngest son of Bill and Joyce, passed away.

Jim & Donna Thomas

By 1997, Joyce Thomas made the decision to sell the 4-day, 3-night wagon train. Joyce gave Jeff and Chris Warburton the opportunity to buy it. Jeff and Chris accepted.

Jim & Donna Thomas


Cindy, Jeff, Chris & Audra Warburton

Jeff and Chris came to the Teton Wagon Train & Horse Adventure with a combined wealth of knowledge; they both carry a Master’s Degree as well as having been educators in the field of horsemanship. Jeff had worked for the Thomas family during the summers of 1987 through 1991, where he met his wife, Cindy. Having continued the tradition of the 4-day, 3-night trip, Chris and Jeff were given the chance to purchase the Bar T 5 dinner ride in 2007, from Jim Thomas, Bill and Joyce’s oldest son. Jeff and Cindy along with Chris and Audra took the opportunity and once again reunited the Teton Wagon Train & Horse Adventure and the Bar T 5 Covered Wagon Cookout.

Permittee of the Bridger-Teton National Forest
Equal Opportunity Service Provider