Mormon Trail AssociationMormon Trail AssociationVisiting

OPTIONS FOR A MORMON TRAIL EXPERIENCE

1) Mormon Handcart Trek Options (as of 2011). Follow the website at: http://www.handcarttreks.com/

2) Martin's Cove. Located about 60 miles west of Casper, Wyoming or about the same distance north of Rawlins, Wyoming, just north of State Highway #220, or 350 moles from Salt Lake City. There is a visitor's center managed by volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From the visitor's center, one can take a short hike of a quarter mile to Devil's Gate, a significant landmark on the Mormon, Oregon, California, and Pony Express Trails. One can also hike to Martin's Cove and back, a 3-4 mile round trip. Handcarts are available for those wishing to pull a handcart to Martin's Cove and back. The trail is paved. Parking, restroom, and camping facilities are available. The visitor's center is open all year. For further information or to make special arrangements, call (307) 328-2953.

The Mormon Church in 2001 purchased land at the 6th Crossing of the Sweetwater River, directly west of Sweetwater Station, Wyoming (50-60 miles west of Martin's Cove). A campground with improvements was created so groups could camp and hike on the trail. More development will occur in 2002 More dedails will be available in the future.

3) Deseret Land & Livestock. This Church-owned livestock ranch is located near Woodruff, Utah. It is not located on the Mormon Trail, though one company of 85 returning missionaries and about 20 immigrants in 1858 passed by Woodruff on the east side of the Bear River to avoid the soldiers at Ft. Bridger that were part of Johnston's Army. During 12 weeks in the summer, LDS stakes may spend 3 or 4 days having a handcart experience. Only stakes are allowed to participate (no individuals or individual wards). The cost is $14 per person, whether the stake spends 3 or 4 days at the ranch. The ranch provides handcarts, porta-potties, and water. The stakes provide the food and vehicles to transport the water and toilets from camp to camp. Advisors must attend a training session at least 2 weeks prior to the stake's scheduled time, which will allow them to see where the stake members will be hiking and camping and learn how the program will operate. The current director (year 2001) is Kristi Huff, a BYU student living in Provo. For reservations and further information, call her at (801) 378-3215). All weeks in the summer of 2001 are reserved. As of 21 Mar 2001, only 2 weeks are still open for the summer of 2002. The phone number of the ranch in Woodruff is (435) 793-4288.

4) Ft. Bridger to Yellow Creek. Jodi Guild, a property owner along this section of the Mormon Trail has helped groups have a 3-day, 2-night experience pulling handcarts. Much of this section of the trail is on private property and Jodi is able to secure permission from the various land owners. The best person to contact is Stewart Glazier in Sandy. His number is (801) 572-5924. Stewart was an area supervisor for the LDS seminary program in Salt Lake County and is the Church's contact person with private landowners along the Mormon Trail. He has been a stake president, written a book about the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies, and conducted tours for years along the trail. (As of Jan. 2002, he is serving a mission for the Church.)

5) Big Mountain hike. There is an excellent hiking trail between Mormon Flat in East Canyon, roughly half way between Jeremy Ranch and East Canyon Resort, and the top of Big Mountain. This 4.2 mile trail is right on the Mormon Trail most of the time. The elevation change is about 1,200 feet. There is a new 5-mile hiking trail between the top of Big Mountain (start south of the parking lot) and Little Dell Reservoir. This trail was made by Utah State Parks & Recreation, was made wide enough to accommodate a handcart, for individuals that have their own and want to use it on this section. Restrooms are available at Mormon Flat, Big Mountain Summit, and below Afleck Park, where the creek crosses the highway. These trails can be hiked in either direction. To reserve Mormon Flat for special activities, including over-night camping, contact the State Parks Reservation Office. Salt Lake area call 322-3770. From outside the Salt Lake area, call 1-800-322-3770. A map and information on a self-guided day trip is available on this web site.

6) The Mormon Trail from Fort to Salt Lake City (self-guided driving tour)

Mormon Trail Brochure  - Click for bigger imageThis map was first printed in 1997 as part of the pioneer sesquicentennial celebrations and reprinted in 2001 with contributions of those listed in the center section. The brochure opens up to a map of the highways and Mormon Trail from Fort Bridger to the Salt Lake City. Fourteen significant locations are identified and enhanced with directions, pictures, historical comments and quotes. It is designed for those who know little of the trail as well as the more advance historian. Of particular interest may be the hiking section from Mormon Flat to the top of Big Mountain. For those taking the hike, notice the rust marks left on the rocks by the metal tires of the wagons. Notice, also, the ruts and swales. For most of the hike, the trail will be either in a swale, on one of the wagon tracks (the other will appear as part of the eroded stream bed, but is often the other rut, which has been eroded), or parallel to the trail.Copies are available at various historic or tourist sites around the valley (This is the Place Heritage Park, Utah Travel Council, Rio Grande Building, etc.) or by contacting a member of the consortium.


7) Last resort. Call Ron Andersen of the Mormon Trail Association in West Valley City, (801) 969-4698.


LDS Visitors Centers Along the Mormon Migration Route

Kirtland Visitors Center
8876 Chillicothe Road
Kirtland, Ohio 44094
(216) 256-9805
(Ask about the John Johnson Farm.)

Independence, Missouri
937 West Walnut Street
Independence, MO 64051
(816) 836-3466
(for info on all Missouri sites)

Liberty Jail Historical Site
216 North Main (P.O. Box 313)
Liberty, MO 64068
(816)781-3188

Nauvoo Visitors Center
Main and Young Street
(P.O. Box 215)
Nauvoo. Illinois 62354
(217)453-2237 [1-800-453-0022]

Carthage Jail
307 Walnut
Carthage, Illinois 62321
(217)357-2989

Winter Quarters (Mormon Trail Interpretation Center)
3215 State Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68112
(402) 453-9372

Martin's Cove, Devil's Gate, Wyoming
Just southwest of Independence Rock
Office: (307) 328-2953
Reservations: (307) 324-5218
(You can pull a handcart here.)


Other, non-LDS sites of interest:

Handcart outfitting site in Iowa City
Behind U. of Iowa campus property (Out of the way, but interesting)

Mormon Trail Center (local museum)
Keosaugua, Iowa

Campsite, near Genoa, Iowa
where "Come, Come Ye Saints was written

Mormon exhibit in Corydon museum

Garden Grove, Mount Pisgah in Iowa

Western Historic Trails Center (Council Bluffs, Iowa)
3434 S. 34th St. (Richard Downey Ave. - off 24th St. Exit of 1-80)

(Inquire about Iowa sites in Nauvoo or Omaha. Also ask at Winter Quarters about several sites in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area.)

Chimney Rock, Scott's Bluff in Nebraska

Fort Laramie, Wyoming

Register Cliff and trail ruts in the rock near Guernsey, Wyoming

Fort Casper in Casper, Wyoming
(With Mormon pioneer exhibit)

Trail Center in Casper (exhibits, info)

Independence Rock (a Wyoming State historical park)

South Pass (trail and markers)

Fort Bridger (a Wyoming state historical park)




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