Rock Creek Hollow: Mormon Trail Site

Lander, Wyoming

Rock Creek Hollow is a historic site along the Mormon Trail located about 38 miles (61 kilometers) south of Lander, Wyoming. In the 1850s, it was a well-used campsite west of Rocky Ridge, a challenging segment of the Oregon-Mormon-California Trail that climbs 600 feet (180 meters) over a distance of about 3 miles (5 kilometers). Rock Creek Hollow now features a memorial honoring the Willie handcart company’s faith and sacrifice. It does not include a visitors’ center. During the summer months, missionaries greet visitors at Rock Creek Hollow and share stories related to the Willie handcart company’s crossing of Rocky Ridge. For information about planning a visit to Rock Creek Hollow, click or tap here. Also during the summer season, Latter-day Saints participate in trek reenactments at this site. For information about organizing a trek for a family or Church group at this historic site, click or tap here.

On October 23, 1856, two days after a harrowing experience at Sixth Crossing on the Sweetwater River, the Willie handcart company climbed Rocky Ridge during a severe snowstorm. In blizzard conditions, some company members walked parts of the trail multiple times as they helped their families and company members reach camp. There are a number of pioneer graves at Rock Creek Hollow, and some of them might belong to members of the Willie handcart company. The company buried 15 members before leaving their camp on October 25. Rescue parties helped the survivors travel the remaining 266 miles (428 kilometers) through South Pass on the Continental Divide to their destination in Salt Lake City. Arriving by November 9, they received donated provisions from local Relief Society organizations and were placed in warm homes. 

Read More... Read Less
The River, the Hollow, and the Cove: Places of Gathering and Rescue

As you immerse yourself in this visually rich presentation, ponder reasons why Mormon pioneers left their homelands, traversed rugged trails, and helped those in need.

Five Things You Might Not Know about the Handcart Rescue

How much do you know about the rescue of the Willie and Martin handcart companies? Some of the information in this article might surprise you.

Interactive Map: Mormon Handcart Trail—Zoomed to the Wyoming Plains

Learn about different sites in Wyoming and why they were significant for the Latter-day Saint pioneers who pushed and pulled handcarts.

Time Line: U.S. Migration, Mormon Emigration, and the Handcart Experiment

Examine major events of migration that took place between 1805 and 1869 in what is now the western United States of America.

Trekking at the Mormon Handcart Historic Sites

The Mormon Handcart Historic Sites provide a unique, dedicated setting for visitors and trekkers to come unto Christ.

What to Expect When You Visit the Wyoming Historic Sites

Find information that can help you plan a visit to Martin’s Cove, Sixth Crossing, and Rock Creek Hollow.