Eastern Mojave Vegetation Interpretive panel for South Pass.  
 

 

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  Wyoming, Fremont County, South Pass
Photographed 4 September 2018.

South Pass

South Pass was discovered in 1812 by a small party of Astorians led by Robert Stuart as they traveled east with dispatches for John Jacob Astor. It was “rediscovered” in 1824 by a party led by Jedediah Smith as they searched for a winter crossing through the Wind River Mountain Range. William Sublette led a small caravan of wagons to South Pass in 1828. While the party did not take the wagons over the pass, they proved that wagon travel was possible.
Captain Benjamin Bonneville took the first wagons over South Pass into the Green River Basin in 1832. But it wa Lt. John Charles Fremont who would be credited with widely publicizing the route over South Pass as a result of his expedition in 1842. Scattered references to the easy passage over the Rocky Mountains has appeared in newspapers for a decade, but Fremont ignited enthusiasm for South Pass by explaining that a traveler could go th[r]ough the pass without any “toilsome ascents.”
With the discovery of South Pass, the great western migration began. Thousands of Mormons, future Oregonians and Californians would use the trail in the following twenty years.
Donated by the Trans Sierra Alliance, E. Clampus Vitus

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Date and time this page was prepared: 11/9/2019 7:45:19 PM