The Trek


Orson Pratt

Journal Entry: Emigration Canyon: Donner Hill

Courtesy Church History Library and Archives

July 21, 1847

"No frost this morning but a heavy dew. we resumed our journey, came 2 _ miles & assended a mountain for 1 _ miles. descended upon the west side 1 mile.

came upon a swift running creek where we halted for noon (we called this Last Creek). Bro. Erastus Snow, (having overtook our camp from the other camp which he said were but a few miles in the rear) & myself proceeded in advance of the camp down Last Creek 4 _ miles to where it passes through a Kanyon & issues into the broad open valley below.

To avoid the Kanyon the waggons last season had passed over an exceedingly steep & dangerous hill. Mr Snow & myself asscended this hill from the top of which a broad open valley about 20 miles wide & 30 long lay stretched out before us at the N. End of which the broad waters of the great Salt Lake glistened in the sunbeams, containing high mountainous Islands from 25 to 30 miles in extent.

After issuing from the mountains, among which we had been shut up for many days & beholding in a moment such an extensive scenery open before us we could not refrain from a shout of joy which almost involuntarily escaped from our lips the moment this grand & lovely scenery was within our view.

We immediately descended very gradually into the lower parts of the valley & although we had but one horse between us yet we traversed a circuit of about 12 miles before we left the valley to return to our camp, which we found encamped 1 _ miles up the ravine from the valley & 3 miles in advance of their noon halt. . . . (it was about 9 o'clock in the evening when we got into camp. the main body of the pioneers who were in the rear were encamped only _ mile up the creek from us with the exception of some waggons containing some who were sick who were still behind."

(Orson Pratt Journal, 21 July 1847, HDC.)

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