Tough Traveling in the Desert

Tough Traveling in the Desert (HM19ZZ)

Location: West Wendover, NV 89883 Elko County
Country: United States of America

N 40° 50.71', W 114° 12.49'

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The Bidwell-Bartleson wagon train was the first emigrant party to see Pilot Peak in 1841. Four years later, Captain John c. Fremont also saw this distinctive landmark, but from the Cedar Range in Utah - some 75 miles away. He wanted to establish a trail from the Great Salt Lake to the existing California Trail along the Humboldt River. Fremont sent Kit Carson, a member of his expedition, ahead towards his peak to scout for a safe passage across the salt flats. Carson's smoke signals from the mountain assured Fremont of a safe route and that the area contained food for the livestock and water for all. To recognize the importance of this mountain in crossing the desert, Fremont named it "Pilot Peak".

In 1846 the Reed-Donner Party crossed this valley, following the Hastings Cutoff to the main California Trail. Crossing the salt flats just east of here was extremely difficult. Stock animals perished, wagons broke down, and the emigrants barely reached the life-saving springs at the base of Pilot Peak. This "short cut" slowed their progress and helped to set the stage for the disaster that lay 400 miles ahead of them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

As travelers today along Interstate 80, you're following the same route as these early explorers and emigrants. On a good day, they worked hard to cover 10 to 15 miles through this harsh landscape. In the comfort of your air conditioned vehicle, you can cover in 10 minutes the distance it took these earlier travelers all day to cover!
HM NumberHM19ZZ
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 at 1:36am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11T E 735359 N 4525321
Decimal Degrees40.84516667, -114.20816667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 50.71', W 114° 12.49'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 50' 42.60" N, 114° 12' 29.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)775
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 12 Pilot Rd, West Wendover NV 89883, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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