On July 24, 1847, the last members of the first company of Mormon pioneers entered the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. Thousands of other pioneers would follow their trail west. When he first saw the valley, William Clayton wrote: “When I … ask myself whether I would choose to dwell here in this wild looking country amongst the Saints surrounded by friends, though poor, … or dwell amongst the gentiles with all their wealth and good things of the earth, to be eternally mobbed, harassed, hunted, our best men murdered and every good man’s life continually in danger, the soft whisper echoes loud and reverberates back in tones of stern determination; give me the quiet wilderness and my family to associate with, surrounded by the Saints.”

Pioneer Trek

July

1

Green River crossing not completed because of high winds (no miles)

2

It was decided to send back guides for the next company (no miles)

3

Finished crossing; men were chosen to go back for next company (3 miles)

4

Sabbath day; twelve former Mormon Battalion members joined company (no miles)

5

Many still suffering from Mountain Fever (20 miles)

6

Beautiful prairie wildflowers in bloom, camped in field of wild flax (18.5 miles)

7

Passed Fort Bridger and camped just beyond it (17.5 miles)

8

Camped entire day; fixed wagons; many went to fort to do some trading (no miles)

9

Descended almost perpendicular hill (13 miles)

10

Cleared trail of huge rocks to make road passable; spotted three bears (18 miles)

11

Sabbath day; oil discovered and used on gun stocks, shoes, and wagon wheels (no miles)

12

Brigham Young and others became very ill; main group traveled on, leaving sick behind to rest (16.5 miles)

13

Orson Pratt took small advance company to find pass through mountains (main company no miles)

14

Hunted antelope; Brigham Young’s health improved (no miles)

15

Brigham Young and those with him rejoined main group of pioneers (4.5 miles)

16

Passed through narrow gap between high canyon walls where every sound echoed (16 miles)

17

Had special prayer for the sick; rolled rocks down mountain for fun (2.5 miles)

18

Sabbath day; decided to split company again to allow sick to stay behind and rest (no miles)

19

Very difficult traveling through mountains; made first sighting of valley (14 miles)

20

Repaired wagons; trail very rough—spent time improving road (7.5 miles)

21

Spent much time getting wagons down steep mountain ridges (14 miles)

22

Advance group and main group entered valley; seven men searched for place to plant crops (8 miles)

23

Plowed and began work on irrigation system (2 miles)

24

Planted crops; last members of company arrived in Salt Lake Valley with Brigham Young (no miles)