The West was settled by the strong and hardy who survived the grueling work of pushing handcarts, driving wagons, and riding horses over 1,400 miles to reach the new territory. This hike follows a historic trail that was first cut by the emigrant Donner- Reed party; a year later the same route was followed by the Mormon pioneers who followed Brigham Young to their new Zion. The trail was then used by the Pony Express, miners, California gold seekers, the West’s original telegraph line, and a host of other hardy pioneers, including 70,000 Mormons. A walk back through history, this trail climbs Little Emigration Canyon to Big Mountain Pass where Brigham Young was reported to have said, “This is the place. Drive on.” Running next to a stream with old beaver ponds and regular wildlife sightings, including moose and deer, you can hike in five hours what took the Donner-Reed party thirteen days and the Mormons six.
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