Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

William Clayton Journals

July 20, 1847

Location: Summit of last ridge - 11 miles left, Utah - ["Little Mountain"]. (The descent is very steep, all the way, till you arrive on the banks of Last ["Emigration"] Creek.) - 1020 1/4 miles from Winter Quarters.

Summary: The Pioneers travel very slow through the narrow mountain gaps.

Journal entry: TUESDAY, 20TH. This morning fine and warm. The coal pit is burned and Burr Frost set Elder Smith's wagon tire and did various other repairs to a number of other wagons which took till nearly eleven o'clock, about which time the camp started onward.

One of Brother Crow's men returned from Elder Pratt's company and reported that their camp is about nine miles from here. He is bunting stray cattle. He says the road is very rough from here and about a mile beyond where they are camped the road begins to ascend over a high range of mountains. Elder Pratt has been to the top but cannot see the Salt Lake from there. Their company is gone on.

I walked ahead of the camp nearly four miles and picked many gooseberries nearly ripe. They are very plentiful on this bottom. The brethren spent much time cutting brush wood and improving the road. After traveling four miles, halted about half an hour to water teams and cat dinner. The road over which we have traveled is through an uneven gap between high mountains and is exceedingly rough and crooked. Not a place to be met with scarcely where there would be room to camp for the dense willow groves all along the bottom.

We then proceeded on and traveled over the same kind of rough road till a little after 5:00 p. m. then camped on a ridge, having traveled today seven and a quarter miles. The last three miles has been the worst road of the two, it being through willow bushes over twenty feet high, also rose and gooseberry bushes and shaking poplar and birch timber. Although there has been a road cut through, it is yet scarcely possible to travel without tearing the wagon covers. We have crossed this creek which Elder Pratt names Canyon Creek eleven times during the day and the road is one of the most crooked I ever saw, many sharp turns in it and the willow stubs standing making it very severe on wagons.

As we proceed up, the gap between the mountains seems to grow still narrower until arriving at this place where there is room to camp, but little grass for teams. There are many springs along the road but the water is not very good. In one place about a mile back there is a very bad swamp where the brethren spent some time cutting willows and laying them in to improve it. We have got along today without much damage which is somewhat favorable for the road is awful. At this place the ground around is represented as being swampy and dangerous for cattle.

It is reported that there is no place to camp beyond this till where Elder Pratt's company camped and this is so small they have to huddle the wagons together, The soil continues sandy, except in the low moist places where it looks black and good. There is some pine occasionally in sight on the mountains, but timber here is scarce. We have passed through some small patches today where a few house logs might be cut, but this is truly a wild looking place.

Source: William Clayton's Journal

Published by the Clayton Family Association, and edited by Lawrence Clayton. To the best of our research, this contents of this book are no longer under copyright.