Carson was among the foremost of the mountain men engaged in trapping beaver in the pristine wilderness. The Indian nations, also actively gathering pelts to sell, regarded white men as little better than poachers on their land and fiercely defended their sovereignty.
It was while trapping that Carson met and fell in love with Singing Grass, an Arapaho woman. He and Singing Grass married and had a daughter. Tragedy struck when Singing Grass died. After her death, Carson's encounter and romance with Josefa Jamarillo introduced him to the society of the Spanish "ricos" in New Mexico.