When company after company of Mormon pioneers trekked across the central United States to Utah in the mid-1800s, they left a path that has become part of the nation’s history.
That path is now being marked with U.S. National Parks Service signs along the approximately 1,400-mile trail, through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah.
Hundreds of thousands of emigrants—not only Latter-day Saints, but also many others bound for points beyond Utah—followed the trail west in the 1800s. The Mormon Pioneer-Oregon Trail corridor also became the route for the first transcontinental telegraph and the overland mail in the United States.
The trail is being marked under the National Trails System Act. A total of 1,547 official National Parks Services signs are being placed along roads that follow or cross the Mormon Trail. Nearly half of them are impressive eighteen-inch highway signs.
The signs, inverted triangles with rounded sides, depict a cow skull trail marker on a dark background. Lettered around the edges are the words: “Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail.”
C. Booth Wallentine, a member of the Butler Twenty-third Ward, Salt Lake Brighton Stake, is chairman of the advisory council to the National Parks Service for the project.