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The Mormon Trail: A Photographic Exhibit
South Pass
South Pass, Wyoming, by William Henry Jackson.
On June 26 the pioneers marched into the 25-mile-wide plain that is South Pass (which made the wagon trek west possible) near the Continental Divide-where waters west of the summit flow into the Pacific Ocean. The ascent on the broad plain is so gradual that many of the travelers crossed the Continental Divide without being aware of it since the Pass is 7,700 feet high, the pioneers sometimes enjoyed a snowball fight. On June 28 the company met Jim Bridger, on his way to Fort Laramie, who spent the night with them. Bridger gave a long account of the country around the Great Salt Lake. Bridger felt that one disadvantage to settling in the region was the cold nights. William Clayton reported: "He thinks Utah Lake is the best country in the vicinity of Salt Lake and the country is still better the farther south we go until reaching the desert about 200 miles south of Utah Lake."
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