Wonders of Wyoming, Dave Walsh

SOUTH PASSth photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Dave Walsh, 29 Jan ’16

It’s a natural Wonder, the perfect passage for immigration to the West.  It was known only to Native Americans until 1812.  The Lewis and Clark Expedition missed it, they were too far north.  But Robert Stuart found it, he and six others with the Pacific Fur Company, actually travelling east from Oregon, happened onto it.

Other accounts have a party led by Wilson P. Hunt of Trenton, New Jersey, as another who found this natural Wonder in 1812.  It served as the primary route for trappers over the next 12 years, and then the migration began.  And what might the plight of hundreds of thousands of settlers moving west have been without South Pass.

Jedediah Smith rediscovered South Pass in 1824, and inaugurated its use as a route for settlers.  The wonderful broad valley mountain pass in southwestern Wyoming served as the thoroughfare for the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, the Mormon Trail, and the Pony Express.  Located 35 miles south-southwest of Lander, South Pass sports the Sweetwater River rising on its east side, the pacific creek on the west.  The Wind River Range borders on the north and the Antelope Hills to the south.

South Pass, the perfect gateway to the West, and a natural Wonder of Wyoming.