Santa Fe

National Historic Trail - CO,KS,MO,NM,OK

The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century route through central North America that connected Franklin, Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pioneered in 1821 by William Becknell, who departed from the Boonslick region along the Missouri River, the trail served as a vital commercial highway until 1880, when the railroad arrived in Santa Fe. Santa Fe was near the end of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, which carried trade from Mexico City. A highway route that roughly follows the trail's path, through the entire length of Kansas, the southeast corner of Colorado and northern New Mexico, has been designated as the Santa Fe Trail National Scenic Byway.

maps

Official Visitor Map of Santa Fe National Historic Trail (NHT) in Colorado, Kansas, Misouri, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Santa Fe - National Historic Trail

Official Visitor Map of Santa Fe National Historic Trail (NHT) in Colorado, Kansas, Misouri, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

brochures

The Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail route across Iowa. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).NHT Auto Tour Guides - Iowa

The Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail route across Iowa. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The National Historic Trail route from Western Missouri through Northeastern Kansas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).NHT Auto Tour Guides - Missouri and Kansas

The National Historic Trail route from Western Missouri through Northeastern Kansas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The National Historic Trail route from Nebraska through Northeastern Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).NHT Auto Tour Guides - Nebraska and Colorado

The National Historic Trail route from Nebraska through Northeastern Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The National Historic Trail route along the Snake River through Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).NHT Auto Tour Guides - Idaho

The National Historic Trail route along the Snake River through Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The National Historic Trail route across Wyoming. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).NHT Auto Tour Guides - Wyoming

The National Historic Trail route across Wyoming. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The National Historic Trail route across Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).NHT Auto Tour Guides - Utah

The National Historic Trail route across Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The National Historic Trail route across Nevada. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).NHT Auto Tour Guides - Nevada

The National Historic Trail route across Nevada. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/safe/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Fe_Trail The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century route through central North America that connected Franklin, Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pioneered in 1821 by William Becknell, who departed from the Boonslick region along the Missouri River, the trail served as a vital commercial highway until 1880, when the railroad arrived in Santa Fe. Santa Fe was near the end of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, which carried trade from Mexico City. A highway route that roughly follows the trail's path, through the entire length of Kansas, the southeast corner of Colorado and northern New Mexico, has been designated as the Santa Fe Trail National Scenic Byway. You can almost hear the whoops and cries of "All's set!" as trail hands hitched their oxen to freight wagons carrying cargo between western Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Follow the Santa Fe National Historic Trail through five states and you'll find adventure and evidence of past travelers who made this remarkable trip before you! You can visit many sites of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail over the 900-mile historic route that crosses five states. Cimarron National Grassland Warm light from the setting sun gives an orange glow to a rock bluff overlooking a grassland. Visit Cimarron National Grassland to experience the Santa Fe Trail. Neosho River Crossing, Council Grove A wide river with green grass parks on the side. The Neosho River in Council Grove was an important crossing on the trail. Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, La Junta, Colorado emigrant wagons pulled by oxen and horses cross the prairie with people walking alongside After spending weeks crossing hundreds of miles of lonely and desolate prairie, a trading post appeared: a welcome respite where travelers could repair their wagon and trade for coffee, sugar, blankets, and ammunition. Wagon Mound, Mora County, New Mexico desert landscape with a mountain that looks like a wagon from a distance, verdant green grasses Wagon Mound was a landmark on the Santa Fe Trail. Coming from Raton, New Mexico, travelers looked for this wagon-like hill to know that they were close to Santa Fe. Leave Interstate 25 at the village of Wagon Mound in Mora County to find this landmark. Fort Union, New Mexico A stone path leads into the distance next to adobe ruins. The Santa Fe Trail traverses through Fort Union. Grand Canyon Helitack Assists with Injury Extraction This video tells the story--through first-person accounts by the participants--behind the successful extraction of a firefighter injured by rockfall on the 2011 Las Conches Fire on the Santa Fe National Forest. The video teaches associated terminology and highlights the importance of continuing staff training, drilling, risk analysis, and strategic partnerships in safely dealing with a life-threatening situation. A helicopter hovers close to the ground with several people below it Old Santa Fe Trail Building Implementation of Historic Design and Preservation Time and elements have taken a toll on the historic fabric of the adobe/wood superstructure. In order to restore and honor this historic structure the NPS is removing and replacing nearly all of the protective stucco on the exterior building walls. Initial rehabilitation of the Old Santa Fe Trail Building Old Santa Fe Trail Building Stucco Repair Project Overview The Old Santa Fe Trail Building is a treasured adobe walled structure and National Historic Landmark in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The building will undergo stucco repair work currently slated to begin early fall of 2018. This project will help ensure conservation for future generations to enjoy. Historic photo of CCC men constructing adobe bricks for building Forts and Park Units along the Trail The U.S. opened military forts along the route of the Santa Fe Trail to protect trail travel and trade. The first military fort, Fort Leavenworth, was established in 1827 in eastern Kansas and is not a national park site. Fort Union and Fort Larned followed. Bent’s Fort, not a military fort but a trading post, was built in 1833. The trail also passed along the ancient pueblo of Pecos, now a part of Pecos National Historical Park. Fort ruins in the snow at Fort Union National Monument The Lands of the Overland Trails: Protests against the Mexican American War Almost every movement in American history has a corresponding counter movement. The Mexican American War (1846-48), which resulted in Mexico ceding much of the modern-day American Southwest to the United States, is a good example. With the stroke of a pen, parts of the Santa Fe, California, Oregon, Pony Express, Mormon Pioneer, and Old Spanish trails, as well as El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, suddenly became American territory. A dirt road snakes down a steep cliff face in the desert. Santa Fe Trail and Economic Downturns The United States has endured recessions before. More than two centuries ago, the United States began sinking into what one economic historian calls “the first great depression.” After the War of 1812, rampant speculation in western lands—fueled by easy access to credit, record-high grain and cotton prices, and the end of the Indian wars—masked the initial signs of an economic downturn. Learn more about this period of time on the Santa Fe Trail. A silhouette of a covered wagon on a grassy hill. Trail Beginnings & Geographic Setting Covering approximately 800 miles, the Santa Fe Trail extends from Independence, Missouri to present day Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Trail originally began in Franklin, Missouri, but the trail head was moved to Fort Osage and, by 1827, to Independence. Map of the Santa Fe Trail and National Park Units along its route. Notable People of the Trail Prior to use of the Trail by white traders and settlers, it was a part of the Native American trade network. It was also used by Spaniards of New Mexico for exploration and trade with the Plains Indians. Soldiers also used the Trail throughout its 60-year history. Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, including a reconstructed tipi Management & Preservation of the Santa Fe Trail The Santa Fe Trail became a part of the National Trails System in 1987. The National Park Service works in cooperation with the Santa Fe Trail Association, a nonprofit organization, to coordinate the preservation and use of the Trail. Inner courtyard of the reconstructed fort at Bent’s Old Fort NHS More Trail Facts & the Decline of the Santa Fe Trail More than 60 years of life on the Santa Fe Trail ended when the first steam engine reached Santa Fe in February of 1880. Goods such as weapons and cooking supplies at the reconstructed fort at Bent’s Old Fort NHS Santa Fe Trail Links & Literature More information about the Santa Fe Trail is available on the web, and via a list of literature cited throughout the chapters above. Santa Fe Trail reenactment with oxen and horses drawing a cart and a wagon A Hidden Gem on Museum Hill The Old Santa Fe Trail Building is now used as a regional headquarters for the National Park Service. The large adobe building, built in the 1930s with New Deal Labor, blends into the surrounding landscape. Courtyards, exterior adobe and stucco walls, and planting features define the cultural landscape. The building takes its name from the proximity to the Santa Fe National Historic Trail, which was used primarily between 1821 and 1880. A courtyard, full of trees and plants, is surrounded by an adobe and stucco building. Project Ideas- Communication & National Historic Trails: Santa Fe Trail Communication was an essential aspect of the Santa Fe Trail. Here are a few examples and questions to get you thinking about potential research projects. A rock with names etched into it. Santa Fe Trail Fall 2020 Newsletter Read the latest news from the National Trails Office - Regions 6,7 and 8. Topics include: welcome new staff, high potential sites and segments update, communication connections on interpretive media, bicentennial update, signing update, UMN Trails Course, and more! A newsletter with text and pictures. The Santa Fe Trail, 1821-2021: 200 Years of Commerce, Conflict, & Culture The year 2021 marks 200 years since the Santa Fe Trail began its tenure as a commercial highway. The initial journey in 1821 from Missouri to Santa Fe was met with good fortune. William Becknell and his party of five happened to travel the Trail just after Mexico (present day New Mexico) opened to international trade. Becknell’s party was welcomed in Santa Fe and they returned to Missouri having reaped the benefits of the risky trip. An infographic containing photos and text that describe the timeline of the Santa Fe Trail. The First Printing Press in New Mexico From moveable hand-carved woodblocks in Dunhuang, China, during the Tang Dynasty of 618-906 to adjustable type developed by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany, around 1450, print has played a vital role in the transfer of knowledge and ideas, communication, and the arts. It was not until July of 1834, 13 years after the establishment of the Santa Fe Trail with the beginning of legal international trade with Mexico, that the first printing press arrived in New Mexico. A historical picture of an old printed book cover. What Happened to the Bison? Crossing the Southern Plains in 1806, Zebulon Pike described herds of bison that “exceeded imagination.” Yet by the 1850s, many of the Native nations that relied on bison for sustenance—such as the Kiowas, Comanches, Cheyennes, and Arapahoes—were seeing fewer bison than ever before. What happened? A bison stands and eats grass. The Santa Fe Trail For 60 years the Santa Fe Trail was one of the most important commercial and communications routes through the Southwestern United States. View of grooves in the ground where wagons passed. University of New Mexico Student Essay: Lanesfield School Lanesfield School is a one-room schoolhouse near Edgerton, Kansas, that was established in 1869. The school is representative of the one-room schoolhouses that served much of rural America during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is considered the last building standing from the now-defunct town of Lanesfield, a mail stop along the Santa Fe Trail and Pony Express. Picture of a one room school house University of New Mexico Student Essay: Mahaffie House Located in northeastern Kansas just southwest of Independence, Missouri, the Mahaffie farmstead was an important stage stop along the Santa Fe Trail where travelers stocked up for their journey westward. The house is a rare historical structure with good integrity and enough space to accommodate the visiting public who desire a taste of Kansas's pioneer spirit. A large, light yellow, two-story shingled home with a second floor porch. University of New Mexico Student Essay: San Miguel del Vado Historic District San Miguel del Vado ('Saint Michael of the Ford') was an important crossing of the Pecos River along the Santa Fe Trail. Located east of Santa Fe, the village served as the seat of San Miguel County until 1860 when the title was transferred to the rapidly growing community of Las Vegas, New Mexico. Between two trees, a stone walkway leads to a large white stone church. University of New Mexico Student Essay: La Cueva Historic District In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the small Hispanic village of La Cueva played an important role in commerce along the Santa Fe Trail. Yet La Cueva was used for more than just trade—people lived, worked, and worshiped there. The site consists of several structures: the two-story Romero Hacienda, a grist mill, a mercantile building, the church of San Rafael, stables, a farm, some acequías (irrigation ditches), and a few outbuildings. A historic image of a church with a slanted roof and one bellow tower. Hancock's War Major General Winfield S. Hancock came out to the Southern Plains in the Spring of 1867 to quell a suspected Indian uprising. He was a distinguished U.S. Army officer with an impressive record, especially for service during the Civil War. However, dealing with an enemy so culturally dissimilar to him proved a difficult challenge. Instead of pacifying the Indians, his burning of a local Indian village incited a summer of violence known to history as "Hancock's War." Black and white head photo of Winfield Scott Hancock Hike on a National Historic Trail Hiking a National Historic Trail isn't always what people expect. Like the National Scenic Trails, the historic trails pass through multiple states and travel across a variety of land ownership. Unlike the National Scenic Trails, the historic trails can't be traversed on one long walking trail. You can plan a weekend adventure or an afternoon outing on a National Historic Trail. The following trips will give you the opportunity to hike pieces of the historic trail routes. A brown trail sign stands next to a trail that leads through the forest. Series: University of New Mexico Student Essays: Santa Fe National Historic Trail Pick an article and learn more about some of the key places along the Santa Fe National Historic Trail. These articles provide an opportunity to take a closer look at the significance of these sites. Written by students at the University of New Mexico, you might find a new perspective on a part of history. A large white, Spanish-colonial church. Series: National History Day National Historic Trails are full of topics waiting to be researched! From the Pony Express to the forced removal of American Indian tribes from their homelands, National Historic Trails tell stories of communication, movement, conflict, perseverance, and change. A covered wagon sits in front of a large sandstone bluff. Series: Old Santa Fe Trail Building The iconic building located in Santa Fe, New Mexico is a masterpiece of Spanish Pueblo Revival architecture. The building, known as one of the largest secular adobe buildings in the United States, was constructed in the 1936-1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a National Historic Landmark. The building is currently temporarily closed to the public during the stucco repair project. Visitor entrance to the Old Santa Fe Trail Building. Series: The Santa Fe Trail In its day, the Trail served primarily as a commercial highway. The military used the trail to haul freight to supply the southwestern forts. The Trail was also used by stagecoach lines, those seeking gold in California and Colorado, fur trappers, and emigrants. The Trail in effect brought together Spanish and American cultures and. Many interactions, both amicable and contentious, between settlers and soldiers and the Plains Indians also occurred along the Trail. A small amount of snow fills the ruts that mark where the Santa Fe Trail passed through Pecos NHP Charles Curtis: The First American Indian to be Vice President of the United States When Charles Curtis was born in 1860, no one could have known that he was destined for a career in national politics. Nor that he would become the first with American Indian ancestry to hold the second highest office in the nation. Curtis was 1/8th American Indian and a descendent of Kaw Chief White Plume and Osage Chief Pawhuska. As a child, for a short time, he lived on the Kaw Indian Reservation near Council Grove, Kansas, an important stop on the Santa Fe Trail. A historic portrait of a man in a suit. The Strange Yet Familiar World of William Becknell’s 1821 Journey to Santa Fe The opening of the Santa Fe Trail in 1821 occurred amidst great international and national changes. Discover the strange yet familiar world of the inaugural journey of the Santa Fe Trail. Man standing next to a river with three pack mules carrying goods Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma: Santa Fe National Historic Trail The Santa Fe Trail stretching 1,200 miles from Franklin, Missouri, to Santa Fe, New Mexico was one of America’s great trading routes. The trail followed several different paths depending on weather conditions and terrain. From 1821 until 1880, the Santa Fe Trail served as a vital commercial and military trail, and sometimes as an emigrant trail. Looking out from a rock outcropping to a large expansive prairie. Old Santa Fe Trail Bldg NHL Landscape The Old Santa Fe Trail Building, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is built upon an alluvial terrace on the edge of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Unique elements in the landscape include lush interior and peripheral courtyards, native exterior plantings, and exterior adobe walls which signify the entrance to the site along the Old Santa Fe Trail. The site is important for its Spanish Pueblo Revival architecture and association with important designers and architects. Main courtyard, 2012 (C. Mardorf, NPS) Become a Junior Ranger for National Historic Trails Learn about the National Historic Trails and earn junior ranger badges! These activities can be completed virtually or after visiting a site along the National Historic Trails. Booklets can be submitted either electronically or by mail. Take a look and start exploring the trails today! small photos of different trail sites with junior ranger badges. Santa Fe Trail NextGen Council Applications are now being accepted from young adults ages 18-28 for the Santa Fe Trail NextGen Council. The Council is a virtual volunteer program to help raise awareness of the trail, propose ways to tell a fuller story of the trail, and make recommendations for expanding and diversifying interest in the trail. Words reading Santa Fe Trail NextGen Council in the shape of a bison head Color the National Historic Trails Express yourself and learn more about the trails with these coloring sheets! Download, print, color, and then share with us! Do you want to know what pioneers thought about bison? Elk? Salmon? Pick an animal, learn more, and download your coloring sheet today. A coloring sheet with an image of a wolf walking. Santa Fe Trail 200th Anniversary Passport Stamps Earn a special edition 200th Anniversary Passport Stamp! Find out how to earn a virtual stamp and where you can collect all the special edition stamps in-person! Fort Leavenworth and the Establishment of the 10th Cavalry African Americans have served in every war in United States history since the American Revolution. In 1866, a year after the Civil War ended, Congress authorized the formation of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, establishing Black military presence in the peacetime regular Army. These regiments became known as the Buffalo Soldiers. The 10th Calvary, formed at Fort Leavenworth, KS, is distinctive in military history. Black soldiers in uniform amid a battle in a grassy field Historic Valentine's Day Cards Valentines day cards rose to popularity in the United States in the mid-1800s. Victorian cards were elaborate, decorative, often-lace trimmed, and mass-produced. Not everyone could afford such cards, so handmade cards were very popular with pioneers and others who couldn't buy an expensive card. You can take your Valentine back in time by making a historic card! Use the provided template, or make a handmade card, and return to the 1800s with your love. A historic valentines day card with a rose illustration. Comanches and Horses Historians often cite the importation of large horse herds as one of the Spanish empire's biggest impacts on the Americas. Ironically, these very herds helped transform Comanches into Spain's most formidable rival. Two wild horses stand in a large open area. Beyond New Mexico and Missouri: The Diverse People and Places of the Santa Fe Trail When we think of the Santa Fe Trail, we usually imagine wagons rolling across a prairie. Yet in some ways, it’s just as accurate to think of a bustling city like New York, Philadelphia, or Baltimore. The trail was part of a robust international trade network influenced by a range of people, cultures, and places. Field with wagon ruts Santa Fe Trail Bookmark Activity Learn about the Santa Fe Trail and make a bookmark to keep track of your reading! In this activity, you will draw, color, and learn. Example of completed bookmark activity with drawing and writing about Round Mound Letter From the Trail Ad Lib Activity Complete this letter about the Santa Fe Trail in this ad lib activity! Vintage pen and ink illustration of a person writing a letter with a pen tip and bottle of ink Plants Along the Santa Fe Trail Santa Fe Trail travelers often recounted their journeys through seemingly endless expanses of tall- and shortgrass prairie. But, if you look closely, you will find an amazing diversity of plant species along the Santa Fe Trail, each with their own story. Some provided sustenance for those who lived upon and crossed the Great Plains. Some were once plentiful but have now all but disappeared. One even helped lost travelers find their way. Close up of purple flower Animals Along the Santa Fe Trail Often when we think about the Santa Fe Trail, bison and rattlesnakes come to mind. Both served key roles in the ecosystems and experiences of Trail travelers, but they are just the beginning of the diverse animals that have been found along the Santa Fe Trail. Learn more about animals along the Santa Fe Trail! Brown buffalo sitting in grassy field. Santa Fe Trail 200th Anniversary Events Map Come explore the Santa Fe National Historic Trail through a variety of events to commemorate the 200th Anniversary. Over 40 events are planned and hosted by National Park Service partners along the trail—from Missouri to New Mexico. Use this map to find events happening near you throughout 2021! Wagon wheel logo which reads, “Santa Fe Trail, 1821-2021. Two hundred years.” Santa Fe Trail Postcard Activity Mail was an important form of communication for Santa Fe Trail travelers. They would write letters to their loved ones, to friends, and to business partners. Now, it’s your turn! Use this postcard template to write to a friend or family member about the Santa Fe Trail. Draw a picture or add a photo of the trail to make your postcard beautiful! Two postcards. One showing a photo of an adobe ruin, the other showing a written message. Santa Fe Trail 200th Anniversary Activities Join the commemoration of the Santa Fe Trail 200th Anniversary by learning about the trail while having some fun! From a special 200th Junior Ranger activity to an ad lib, these activities are enjoyable for the young and young at heart! Mountain scene with a Junior Ranger badge for the Santa Fe Trail 200th over it Students Help Preserve Fort Union National Monument on the Santa Fe Trail Nothing lasts forever, especially not 130-year old adobe. The adobe walls of Fort Union National Monument, a military post on the Santa Fe Trail, have stood unprotected in the short grass prairie, subject to wind, solar gain, rain, and snow since the fort ceased operations in 1891. Professors and students from the University of Pennsylvania have been investigating preservation techniques to help understand the fort’s vulnerability to deterioration. Read more about their on Ruins of adobe building in a short grass prairie Black Jack Ruts Exhibits and Audio Description Explore the exhibits at Black Jack Ruts through images and audio descriptions. Wayside exhibit panels sit side by side in front of a prairie. Black Jack Ruts Audio Tour Welcome to the Ivan Boyd Memorial Prairie Preserve and the Black Jack Ruts. Head out on the trail through the woods and over the small creek to the prairie. From there you can walk a gravel trail that is easy walking and will let you experience up close and in person several very impressive wagon ruts created by heavy traffic of mostly freight wagons headed to Santa Fe or returning to Westport or Franklin or merchants along the Missouri River. A trail winds through a grassy praire. National Historic Trails: Historical Routes of National Significance Wondering about National Historic Trails? Check out this infographic with basic information about the trails, their purpose, and where you can go for more information! Infographic about National Historic Trails featuring a map. Full description available at link. Plan Like a Park Ranger on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail Are you ready to explore the Santa Fe Trail? Use these 10 tips to plan your trip like a Ranger! A mountain with the text, “Check your altitude and #PlanLikeAParkRanger Wayne City Upper Independence Landing Exhibits Audio Description Interested in the Santa Fe Trail at Wayne City, Upper Independence Landing? Take a look at these interpretive exhibits and listen to their audio descriptions. A wayside exhibit. Full audio description is included in the article for each exhibit. Transportation on the Santa Fe Trail: American Solar Challenge Overtime, Santa Fe Trail travelers used many types of transportation. Travelers continuously sought faster, easier, and more comfortable ways to travel. This desire drove transportation innovation, leading to new and improved transportation types. Explore the infographic below to learn more about the history of transportation on the Santa Fe Trail. While you’re exploring, consider what may come next. The infographic shows a timeline of transportation on the Santa Fe Trail. The Gathering at the Grove In Council Grove, Kansas, on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail stands the stump of the Council Oak, named for an important gathering held beneath its branches on August 10, 1825. Said to be the tallest oak in a mile-wide grove, this witness tree is where the chiefs of the Great and Little Osage Indian tribes and three US commissioners negotiated an agreement to grant travelers safe passage along the Santa Fe Trail through Osage territory to present-day New Mexico. A large tree stump behind a fence. Westward to Santa Fe! Ad Lib Activity Help us complete a newspaper story about your trip on the Santa Fe Trail! In this activity, you will complete the story in the style of an ad lib—resulting in a humorous and historical story! Worksheet intended to look like an aged newspaper page from the Missouri Intelligencer Painting the Santa Fe Trail: An Artist’s Historic Bicycling Trip Across the Trail Much like the Santa Fe Trail traders of the past, artist Lewis Williams spent over a month travelling the trail. Instead of a wagon, Williams’ main mode of transportation was a bicycle. Along the way, Williams made plein air paintings and photographed historic landscapes. Read more about his historic trip across the trail in summer 2021! Painting easel in front of an adobe ruin and photograph of adobe ruin National Historic Trails Scrapbooks Imagine if early travelers on the National Historic Trails had a polaroid camera... what would their scrapbooks look like? Though we have many journals describing their experiences, there are obviously very few or no photos at all from these journeys. Cameras didn't exist! Well, we took a crack at it and created scrapbook pages for them! Take a look at what we imagine a trail traveler's scrapbook would like! A scrapbook page depicting multiple scenes from the trail, and relevant icon images. Mill Creek Exhibits Audio Description Listen to the audio descriptions for the exhibits at Mill Creek in Independence, Missouri. Wayside exhibit audio descriptions for Mill Creek. Santa Fe Trail 200th Anniversary Virtual Art Contest You are invited to submit artwork to the Santa Fe Trail 200th Anniversary Art Contest! Artist depictions of the trail have captured the imaginations of people across time. Now, it’s your turn to capture the trail through art. Artists of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate! Logo that says Santa Fe Trail 200th Anniversary Virtual Art Contest with a half wagon wheel Santa Fe National Historic Trail Spring 2021 Newsletter Read the Spring 2021 Newsletter for Santa Fe Trail project updates and completions from the National Trails Office of the National Park Service (NPS). National Historic Trails Fashion Inspiration During NPS Fashion Week, we are exploring some ways fashion inspiration may be found on National Historic Trails (NHTs). On NHTs you’ll find intriguing colors, shapes, textures, histories, and stories. From golden sunsets to feathered hats, NHTs have diverse natural and cultural environments that can inspire the fashionista in us all! A red rock cliff with a path winding through it Santa Fe National Historic Trail Fall 2021 Newsletter Read the Fall 2021 newsletter for Santa Fe Trail project updates and completions from the National Trails Office of the National Park Service (NPS).
National Trails System National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior National Historic Trails Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide The Mormon Pioneer Trail Across Iowa in 1846 Leaving Nauvoo and “Crossing the Mississippi on the Ice,” by C. A. Christensen Reconstructed Latter-day Saints Temple at Nauvoo, Illinois. NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAILS AUTO TOUR ROUTE INTERPRETIVE GUIDE The Mormon Pioneer Trail Across Iowa in 1846 Prepared by National Park Service National Trails Intermountain Region 324 South State Street, Suite 200 Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 Telephone: 801-741-1012 www.nps.gov/cali www.nps.gov/oreg www.nps.gov/poex www.nps.gov/mopi NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR April 2007 Second Printing September 2010 contents Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 A New Faith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Clash of Cultures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Exodus From Nauvoo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Winter Retreat Across Iowa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Places to Pause, To Rest…To Die. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 A Far Reaching Impact. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Sites and Points of Interest Nauvoo, Illinois to Council Bluffs, Iowa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 For More Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Credits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Regional Map. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Iowa - Nebraska Introduction T he Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail follows the route Auto Tour established by Brigham Young Route to bring his followers from Nauvoo, Illinois, to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, where The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been based for more than 160 years. That first migration of Latter-day Saints to the Great Basin occurred in two stages: in 1846, from western Illinois to the Missouri River in the area of today’s Council Bluffs, Iowa; and in 1847, from the Missouri River to Salt Lake City. This Auto Tour Route interpretive guide covers the 1846 segment of Mormon Trail from Illinois through Iowa. Because they have not been designated by Congress Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Iowa - Nebraska as part of the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, routes and sites used by later Mormon wagon trains and handcart companies are not included in this guide. Individual Auto Tour Route interpretive guides such as this one are in preparation for each state through which the trail passes. As you follow the guide, watch for Auto Tour Route highway logos marking the general route of the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail. In addition, a National Park Service brochure with a map of the entire Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail is available at many trail-related venues, and also can be requested from the trail’s administrative office at 324 South State Street, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, Utah. Historic Nauvoo, pioneer wagon ruts, emigrant camps, and other places of interest along or near the trail corridor are listed within this guide. Driving directions are also provided. Entrance and parking fees may be charged at some locations; hours may vary at the discretion of the managers —you may want to call ahead. Large groups are encouraged to make prior arrangements for tours, where available. 2 Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Iowa - Nebraska A New Faith M ormons, as Latter-day Saints are popularly called, practice a unique religion that arose in 1830 from the teachings of church founder Joseph Smith, Jr. Early converts to the new faith followed their prophet from New York to Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois through the 1830s and ’40s. They were driven from each state by threats and violence. The reasons for the Latter-day Saints’ early troubles still are debated, but religious, political, economic, and social practices all were at issue. Because Mormon beliefs about God and family differed in important ways from mainstream Christianity, they drew criticism and scorn. Because the Latter-day Saints created their own separate towns, religion-based governments, and security forces, their neighbors became uneasy and fearful. Resentment grew as the church became involved in local, state, and eventually, national politics. Disagreements led to legal battles and, in cases, violence
National Trails System Office Intermountain Region National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior National Historic Trails Interpretive Auto Tour Western Missouri Through Northeastern Kansas “Westport Landing” — by William Henry Jackson Courtesy—William Henry Jackson Collection at Scotts Bluff National Monument . R Driving directions to the sites are provided from major highways and nearby towns. To follow overland trail routes between sites, follow the Auto Tour Route highway signs. Generally, local brochures and guides are also available. Entrance and parking fees may be charged at some locations, and hours may vary at the discretion of site administrators. Large groups are encouraged to make prior arrangements for tours, where tours are available. Please respect private property by staying in public areas, and help protect our national heritage by leaving trail resources undisturbed. National Trails System Office 324 South State Street, Suite 200 P.O. Box 45155 Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0155 Auto Tour Route oadside Auto Tour Route signs mark the general routes of the Oregon, California, and Pony Express national historic trails through western Missouri and northeast Kansas. Actual wagon wheel ruts, emigrant camps, Pony Express stations, and other places of interest can be visited at the sites listed in this guide. Interpretive Auto Tour Western Missouri - Northeast Kansas ACROSS THE WIDE MISSOURI ON THEIR OWN T N he story of the American West is not simply a tale of pioneer courage and vision—of prairie schooners swaying westward to the strains of heroic music. Rather, it is a complex weave of plots and subplots, of romance and religion, of politics and money, and of personal and national tragedy. Traces of the people, livestock, and wooden wheels that were part of those stories can still be found on the landscape. There are traces, too, of native peoples whose lives were changed by emigration. This guide will provide descriptions of the historic places where wagon wheels cut into soft stream banks and over rolling prairie, where lonely trailside graves lie, where missionary outposts were established for Native Americans, and where Pony Express stations were, and more. Pioneers gathered to prepare for their journey at Independence and St. Joseph, Missouri. From there, they would embark across the wide and muddy Missouri River into a strange, windswept land of unfamiliar wonders—and dangers. ot fit for farming, too windswept and exposed to attract homesteaders, the “Great American Desert” that unrolled west of the Missouri River was seen as landscape to be crossed on the way to a better place. That crossing, travelers of the mid-19th century knew, was, by turn, exhausting and exhilarating, and tedious and terrifying. Emigrants’ excitement and anxiety mounted as they prepared to launch their ox-drawn prairie schooners from St. Joseph and Independence, Missouri, bustling river ports at the frontier’s edge. To them, the great, gray ribbon of the Missouri was the western shore of civilized society. Once their wagons rolled off the ferry onto the Kansas side, emigrants embarked into unfamiliar country—trespassers on Indian lands, and beyond the protection of the government. On the trail, there were no markets, no hospitals, no laws, and no second chances. From there until they reached trail’s end some 2,000 miles later, the pioneer emigrants were on their own. Here we were, without law, without order, and without restraint; in a state of nature, amid the confused, revolving fragments of elementary society! Some were sad, while others were merry; and while the brave doubted, the timid trembled! —Lansford W. Hastings, . . . . I, like every other pioneer, love to live over again, in memory those romantic months, and revisit, in fancy, the scenes of the journey. —Catherine Haun, —California emigration of 1849 In the winter of 18 and 46 our neighbor got hold of Fremont’s History of California and . . . . brought the book to my husband to read, & he was carried away with the idea [of emigrating] too. I said O let us not go! —Mary Jones, —California emigration of 1846 Interpretive Auto Tour Western Missouri - Northeast Kansas DANGER, DEATH, AND DISAPPOINTMENT M ost emigrants lived in fear of Indian attack. Rumors of—even hoaxes about—trailside massacres drifted back to Eastern newspapers, and many travelers packed a virtual arsenal to protect themselves on the road. For the most part, though, their fears were unfounded. Historians conclude that more Indian people than emigrants were killed in clashes along the Oregon and California trails. A more serious threat to those gathering at the congested jumping-off places along the Missouri River was a mysterious killer that could neither be seen nor fought: cholera. In the mid-19th century, no one realized that this virulent and painful intestinal infection was caused by bacteria. Spread unknowingly from waterhole to waterhole by sick travel
National Trails System National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior National Historic Trails Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Nebraska and Northeastern Colorado “Approaching Chimney Rock” By William Henry Jackson Chimney Rock, in western Nebraska, was one of the most notable landmarks recorded in emigrant diaries and journals. Photograph is courtesy of The Wagner Perspective. NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAILS AUTO TOUR ROUTE INTERPRETIVE GUIDE Nebraska and Northeastern Colorado Prepared by National Park Service National Trails System—Intermountain Region 324 South State Street, Suite 200 Box 30 Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 Telephone: 801-741-1012 www.nps.gov/cali www.nps.gov/oreg www.nps.gov/mopi www.nps.gov/poex NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR August 2006 Contents Introduction • • • • • • • 1 The Great Platte River Road • • • • • • • From Path to Highway • • • • • • • “A Whiz and a Hail” — The Pony Express • • • • • A “Frayed Rope” • • • • • • • The Platte Experience • • • • • • • Natives and Newcomers: A Gathering Storm • • • • • • • War on the Oregon & California Trails • • • • • • • Corridor to Destiny • • • • • • • 2 4 8 11 15 18 21 24 SITES AND POINTS OF INTEREST • • • • • • • Auto Tour Segment A: Odell to Kearney • • • • • • • Auto Tour Segment B: Omaha-Central City-Kearney • • • • • • Auto Tour Segment C: Nebraska City-Central City-Kearney • • • • • • • Auto Tour Segment D: Kearney to Wyoming Border • • • • • • • 25 For More Information • • • • • • • 61 Regional Map • • • • • • • 26 35 41 43 inside the back cover Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Nebraska Introduction M any of the pioneer trails and other historic routes that are important in our nation’s past have been designated by Congress as National Historic Trails. While Auto Tour most of those old roads and routes are Route not open to motorized traffic, people can drive along modern highways that lie close to the original trails. Those modern roads are designated as Auto Tour Routes, and they are marked with highway signs and trail logos to help today’s travelers follow the trails used by the pioneers who helped to open a new nation. This interpretive publication guides visitors along the Auto Tour Routes for the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express National Historic Trails as they approach and parallel the Platte River across Nebraska and cut across the northeastern corner of Colorado. Siteby-site driving directions are included, and an overview map is located inside the back cover. To make the tour more meaningful, this guide also provides an historical overview of the four trails, shares the thoughts and experiences of emigrants who followed those routes, and describes how the westward expansion impacted native peoples of the Great Plains. Individual Auto Tour Route interpretive guides such as this one are in preparation for each state through which the trails pass. In addition, individual National Park Service interpretive brochures for the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express National Historic Trails are available at many trail-related venues, and can be requested from the National Trails System Office at 324 South State, Suite 200, Box 30, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111. These brochures provide more detailed information about each of the trails. Additional information on each trail also can be found on individual trail web sites. Links are listed on the title page of this guide. 1 Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Nebraska The Great Platte River Road “Too thick to drink, too thin to plow, too pale to paint.” “A mile wide and an inch deep.” “A stream flowing upside down.” C overed wagon pioneers of the 19th century liked to joke about Nebraska’s Platte River, a stream unlike any they had known back East. But the Platte, strange as it looked, was no joke. A summer shower could send it raging over-bank and through camp; its soft quicksand bottom could swallow up an ox team. River crossings were ordeals to dread. The river’s setting, too, seemed strange. Surrounding prairie, frequently cleansed by wildfire, was burned bare of trees right up to the water’s edge, and a line of low sand hills, looking like a storm-wracked beach, rimmed much of the river valley. Yet the yellow Platte, that treeless “Coast of Nebraska,” was an emigrant’s lifeline—a water source that snaked 800 dusty miles between the Missouri River and the uplands of central Wyoming. Though a choked and sandy disappointment of a stream, the Platte always was and still is a natural east-west corridor across the central plains. Migrating game and moccasin-clad feet wore paths through the “Fort Kearny & the South Platte River” by William Henry Jackson. 2 Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Nebraska valley thousands of years before any white man ventured there. Like those first travelers, covered wagon emigrants and their slow, plodding oxen found water, grass, and fuel
National Trails System National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior National Historic Trails Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Along the Snake River Plain Through Idaho “Three Island Crossing” by William Henry Jackson “Great Falls” on the Snake River. Courtesy of Library of Congress. NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAILS AUTO TOUR ROUTE INTERPRETIVE GUIDE The Tangle of Trails Through Idaho Prepared by National Park Service National Trails System—Intermountain Region 324 South State Street, Suite 200 Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 Telephone: 801-741-1012 www.nps.gov/cali www.nps.gov/oreg www.nps.gov/poex www.nps.gov/mopi NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR October 2008 Contents Introduction• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 1 THE DESERT WEST• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 2 THE SNAKE COUNTRY • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 4 FINDING THE WAY • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 7 WYOMING TO FORT HALL• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 11 THE RAFT RIVER PARTING OF THE WAYS• • • • • • • • • • 20 ON TO OREGON• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 22 ‘O FOR MORE PATIENCE’: A SNAKE RIVER SOJOURN • • 29 ‘DEATH OR THE DIGGINS’• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 32 ‘OUTRAGES HAVE BEEN COMMITTED’• • • • • • • • • • • 35 YESTERDAY AND TODAY• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 41 SITES AND POINTS OF INTEREST• • • • • • • • • • • • • 42 AUTO TOUR SEGMENT A: WYOMING TO OREGON ON THE SNAKE RIVER ROUTE OF THE OREGON TRAIL • • • • 45 AUTO TOUR SEGMENT B: THE SOUTH ALTERNATE OREGON TRAIL ROUTE, GLENNS FERRY TO OREGON STATE LINE • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 78 FOR MORE INFORMATION: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 82 Credits: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 82 Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Idaho Introduction M any of the pioneer trails and other historic routes that are important in our nation’s past have been designated by Congress as National Auto Tour Historic Trails. While most of the old roads and routes still in existance are not open to motorized Route traffic, people can drive along modern highways that closely parallel the original trails. Those modern roads are designated as Auto Tour Routes, and they are marked with highway signs and trail logos to help today’s travelers follow the trails used by the pioneers who helped to open the American West. This interpretive publication guides visitors along the Auto Tour Routes for the Oregon and California National Historic Trails across Idaho. Site-by-site driving directions are included, and an overview map is located inside the back cover. To make the tour more meaningful, this guide also provides a historical overview of the two trails, shares the thoughts and experiences of emigrants who followed these routes, and discusses how the westward expansion impacted native peoples of Idaho. Individual Auto Tour Route interpretive guides such as this one are in preparation for each state through which the trails pass. In addition, individual National Park Service brochures for the Oregon and California National Historic Trails are available at many trail-related venues, and also can be requested from the National Trails System administrative office at 324 South State Street, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111. Each brochure includes a map of the entire trail and an overview of trail history. Additional information about each trail also can be found on individual trail web sites. Links are listed on the “For More Information” page of this guide. Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Idaho THE DESERT WEST A s covered-wagon emigrants crossed today’s Idaho, they found the romance of the road wearing as thin as the soles of their trailtorn shoes. The pioneers’ initial energy and excitement curdled into fatigue and crankiness after three or more months on the road. Nightly fireside dances got left behind back down the trail, next to Grandpa’s clock, Mother’s good china, and heaps of souring bacon. Highjinks and horse races grew rare, quarrels more frequent. Journal-keepers, when they “Freighters Grub Pile,” by William mustered the energy to write at all, Henry Jackson. Courtesy of Library of generally jotted terse complaints Congress. about fellow travelers, Indians, heat, exhaustion, dust, mosquitoes, aches and pains, and the “stink” of the never-ending sagebrush. It seems the nearer we approach Oregon the worse roads we have, and a worse more rough looking country. —Amelia Hadley, 1851 Oregon emigration Felt today like giving up in despair, the intolerable heat and dust, together with fatigue makes me almost sick at heart. —Esther Belle Hanna, 1852 California emigration [Men] are by turns, or all together, cross, peevish, sullen, boisterous, giddy, profane, dirty, vulgar, ragged, mustachioed, bewhiskered, idle, petulant, quarrelsome, unfaithful, disobedient, refractory, careless,
National Trails System National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior National Historic Trails Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Across Wyoming “Rendezvous,” by William Henry Jackson NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAILS AUTO TOUR ROUTE INTERPRETIVE GUIDE Across Wyoming Prepared by National Park Service National Trails Intermountain Region www.nps.gov/cali www.nps.gov/oreg www.nps.gov/mopi www.nps.gov/poex NATIONAL PARK SERVICE US DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Third Printing December 2016 Historical marker on South Pass recognizing the first “white” women to make the trek to Oregon in 1836. CONTENTS Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Gateway to the West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Blazing the Trail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Approaching the Rockies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Sweetwater to South Pass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Beyond the Great Divide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Leapfrogging Across Wyoming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Ho for California! Oregon or Bust! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Fire on the Plains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 God Speed to the Boy & the Pony! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 The End of the Trail Era . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Sites and Points of Interest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Auto Tour Segment A —Nebraska State Line to Casper . . . . . . . Auto Tour Segment B —Casper to Seedskadee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Auto Tour Segment C —The Lander Road. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Auto Tour Segment D —Seedskadee to Idaho State Line. . . . . . . Auto Tour Segment E —Seedskadee to Utah State Line. . . . . . . . 38 50 68 70 71 For More Information/Credits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Regional Map. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover Eastern view of the Sweetwater River Valley from atop Independence Rock, by William Henry Jackson. Image is courtesy of the Brigham Young University Online Collection. Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Wyoming INTRODUCTION Auto Tour Route any of the pioneer trails and other M historic routes that are important in our nation’s past have been designated by Congress as national historic trails. While most of those old roads and routes are not open to motorized traffic, people can drive along modern highways that lie close to the original trails. Those modern roads are designated as Auto Tour Routes, and are marked with highway signs and trail logos to help today’s travelers follow the trails used by the pioneers who helped to open a new nation. This interpretive publication guides visitors along the Auto Tour Routes for the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express national historic trails as they as they cross the state of Wyoming from east to west. Site-by-site driving directions are included, and an overview map is located inside the back cover. To make the tour more meaningful, this guide also provides a historical overview of the four trails, shares the thoughts and experiences of emigrants who followed those routes, and describes how westward expansion impacted native peoples of the Intermountain West. National Park Service interpretive brochures for the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express national historic trails are available at many trail-related venues, or can be requested via email to ntir_information@nps.gov. Additional information on each trail also can be found on individual trail websites. Links are listed on the title page of this guide. Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Wyoming GATEWAY TO THE WEST History is geography set into motion. —Johann Gottfried Herder, 18th century philosopher of history T he Rocky Mountains stretch like a jagged spine between Alaska and Mexico, splitting North America into East and West. The Continental Divide is not a simple line of peaks, easily threaded by tracks and roads, but a complex of overlapping mountain ranges and treeless sagebrush steppe, hundreds of miles wide. In the days of covered wagon travel, the Rockies were an imposing barrier to the movement of people, commerce, and communications. Early explorers probed the Northern Rockies looking for the fabled “Northwest Passage” that would open an easy route for transcontinental traffic. The men of Lewis and Clark’s Cor
National Trails System National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior National Historic Trails Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Utah — Crossroads of the West “Wagons Through Echo Canyon,” by William Henry Jackson Pony Express Bible photograph is courtesy of Joe Nardone, — Pony Express History Association. Every Pony Express rider working for Russell, Majors, and Waddell, was issued a personal Bible to carry with them and obliged to pledge this oath: “I, [name of rider] - do hereby swear before the great and living God that during my engagement and while I am an employee of Russell, Majors, and Waddell, I will under no circumstances use profane language, I will drink no intoxicating liquors; that I will not quarrel or fight with any other employee of the firm and that in every respect I will I conduct myself honestly, faithful to my duties, and so direct my acts, as to win the confidence of my employers, So help me God.” NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAILS AUTO TOUR ROUTE INTERPRETIVE GUIDE Utah — Crossroads of the West Prepared by National Park Service National Trails—Intermountain Region 324 South State Street, Suite 200 Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 Telephone: 801-741-1012 www.nps.gov/cali www.nps.gov/oreg www.nps.gov/poex www.nps.gov/mopi NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR September 2010 Contents INTRODUCTION • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 1 A NOTE ON STATE BOUNDARIES • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 2 THE BIG EMPTY • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 3 SAGEBRUSH AND SALT FLATS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 4 FIRST WAGONS INTO UTAH • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 7 ‘A NIGHER ROUTE’: The Hastings Cutoff • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 11 ‘THIS IS THE PLACE’: The Mormon Pioneers • • • • • • • • • • • • •18 A HALF-WAY HOUSE ON THE CALIFORNIA TRAIL • • • • • • • • • 28 THE UTAH WAR • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 34 ‘THE FORLORNEST SPOT’: The Pony Express Trail in Utah • • • 36 THE WARPATH • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 43 CROSSROADS OF THE WEST• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 47 SITES AND POINTS OF INTEREST • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 49 AUTO TOUR SEGMENT A: Wyoming Border To Salt Lake City, Utah — (Hastings Cutoff Of The California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express Trails) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 49 OPTIONAL BACKCOUNTRY ROUTE: East Canyon/Little Emigration Canyon • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 65 SALT LAKE CITY PIONEER TOUR • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 77 AUTO TOUR SEGMENT B: Salt Lake City To West Wendover, NV • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 90 OPTIONAL BACKCOUNTRY ROUTE: Skull Valley and Hastings Pass • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 95 AUTO TOUR SEGMENT C: Salt Lake City To City Of Rocks NR, ID (Salt Lake Cutoff of the California Trail) • • • • • • • • • • 105 AUTO TOUR SEGMENT D: Pony Express Trail National Back Country Byway • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 110 For More Information • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 122 Credits • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 122 Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Utah INTRODUCTION M any of the pioneer trails and other historic routes that are important in our nation’s past have been designated by Congress as National Historic Trails. While most of the trail ruts still in existence are not open to motorized traffic, people can drive along modern highways that either overlie the original route or closely parallel it. Those modern roads are designated as Auto Tour Routes, and they are marked with highway signs and trail logos to help today’s travelers follow the routes used by the pioneers who helped to open the American West. This interpretive publication guides visitors along the Auto Tour Routes for the California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express National Historic Trails across Utah. Site-by-site driving directions are included, and an overview map is located inside the back cover. To make the tour more meaningful, this guide also provides a historical overview of the three trails, shares the thoughts and experiences of emigrants who followed these routes, and discusses how the westward expansion impacted the native peoples of what is now Utah. Individual Auto Tour Route interpretive guides such as this one are in preparation for each state through which the trails pass. In addition, individual National Park Service brochures for the California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express National Historic Trails are available at many trail-related venues, and also can be requested from the National Trails System administrative office at 324 South State Street, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111. Each brochure includes a map of the entire trail and a general overview of
National Trails Intermountain Region National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior National Historic Trails Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Across Nevada California National Historic Trail Pony Express National Historic Trail By the time they reached the Humboldt Sink, or Forty-mile Desert, many emigrant pioneers had little food, exhausted livestock, and broken wagons. [Cover photo] Forty-mile Desert NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAILS AUTO TOUR ROUTE INTERPRETIVE GUIDE Across Nevada on the Humboldt Route and The Central Route of the Pony Express Prepared by National Park Service National Trails Intermountain Region www.nps.gov/cali www.nps.gov/oreg www.nps.gov/poex www.nps.gov/mopi NATIONAL PARK SERVICE U. S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR April 2012 Table of Contents ‘MOST CORDIALLY I HATE YOU’: THE HUMBOLDT RIVER •••••••••••••••••••• 2 THE GREAT BASIN •••••••••••••••••••• 4 SEEKING MARY’S RIVER •••••••••••••••••••• 5 APPROACHING THE HUMBOLDT • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 11 PRELUDE TO MURDER • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 15 THE HUMBOLDT EXPERIENCE • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 18 WEST TO STONY POINT • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 21 THE POLITICS OF HUNGER • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 24 A FLASH OF THE BLADE • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 27 ‘HEARTILY TIRED OF THE JOURNEY’ • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 29 THE HUMBOLDT SINK • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 33 THE Forty-mile DESERT; or, HOW TO KILL AN OX • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 35 INTO THE SIERRA NEVADA • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 42 THE PONY BOYS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 44 CHANGE IN THE GREAT BASIN • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 51 Sites & Points of Interest: Setting Out • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 53 Navigating the California Trail Across Nevada • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 54 Tips for Trailing Across Nevada • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 56 AUTO TOUR SEGMENT A: WEST WENDOVER AND JACKPOT, NEVADA, TO CALIFORNIA (California Trail) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 58 AUTO TOUR SEGMENT B: BLACK ROCK DESERT, RYE PATCH RESERVOIR TO GERLACH, NEVADA (Applegate and Nobles Trails) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 77 AUTO TOUR SEGMENT C: WEST WENDOVER, NEVADA TO CALIFORNIA BORDER (Pony Express Trail and Carson and Walker River-Sonora Routes of the California Trail) FOR MORE INFORMATION: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 86 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 102 Introduction M any of the pioneer trails and other historic routes that are important in our nation’s past have been designated by Congress as national historic trails. While most of those old wagon roads and routes are not open to motorized traffic, visitors can drive along modern highways that either retrace the original route or closely parallel it. Those modern roads are designated as Auto Tour Routes. They are marked with “National Historic Trails” highway signs to help today’s travelers follow the routes used by the pioneers who helped to open the American West. This interpretive publication guides visitors along the Auto Tour Routes for the California and Pony Express national historic trails as they cross the state of Nevada from east to west. Site-by-site driving directions are included, and an overview map is located inside the back cover. To make the tour more meaningful, this guide also provides a historical overview of the two trails, shares the thoughts and experiences of emigrants who trekked to California, and discusses how the westward expansion impacted native peoples of what is now Nevada. Individual Auto Tour Route interpretive guides such as this one are in preparation for each state that the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express trails pass through. In addition, individual National Park Service brochures for the four national historic trails are available at many trail-related venues and can be requested from the National Trails Intermountain Region Salt Lake City Branch Office at ntsl_interpretation@nps.gov. Each brochure includes a color map of the entire trail and provides an overview of information about each of the trails. Additional information can also can be found on individual trail websites. For links see page 102. Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide Nevada ‘MOST CORDIALLY I HATE YOU’: THE HUMBOLDT RIVER T he four great rivers that led covered wagon pioneers into the far West each had a personality all its own. There was the gritty prairie Platte, cantankerous but dependable; the brooding, basalt-shrouded Snake, menacing as a stranger with a hostile stare; and the broad-shouldered Columbia, the Big River of the West, confident and athletic, striding purposefully toward the Pacific Ocean. But the Humboldt. The Humboldt was sullen and spiteful, a mocking mean joker that lured emigrants deep into the desert, swindle

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