With South Pass behind them, Oregon and California-bound travelers faced the second half of their journey. The roughest travel was yet to come. From Missouri to South Pass, emigrants were able to follow rivers. But from South Pass to Oregon and California, they faced dry stretches such as the high-altitude desert of the Green River Basin. The dry climate played havoc with wagon wheels that kept shrinking wood away from iron rims.
Approximately 20 miles on the trail west of this place, emigrants arrived at the Sublette Cutoff, also known as the Parting-of-the-Ways. It was there that groups separated, some going to Oregon, some to Utah and others to California. Whatever their destination, every day they struggled with life along the trail. Lonely graves, most unmarked, are testimony to thousands of lives taken by cholera, accidents - especially at river crossings, and childbirth. Attacks by Native Americans were often feared, but almost never occurred.
It may be hard to visualize the lives of these people, but a short walk into the landscape allows us insight into some of the problems they faced.