The Great Salt Lake Trail eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 587 pages of information about The Great Salt Lake Trail.

The Great Salt Lake Trail is now crossed and recrossed by the iron highway of commerce.  The wilderness is no longer silent; the spell of its enchantment is broken.  The lonely trapper has vanished from the stern mountain scene.  The Indian himself has nearly disappeared, and in another generation the wild landmarks of the old trail will be almost the only tangible memorials of the men who led the way.


[1] This John Coulter was the first white man to see and describe the wonders of what is now the National Park.  His account, however, was received as a frontier lie, and the truth of his statements were not verified until long after the hardy adventurer’s death.

[2] Fort Osage, on the Missouri River, was on the site of the present town of Sibley, where the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad crosses that stream.

[3] John Day was a remarkable man.  His life was full of wonderful adventures.  He became insane while on this expedition of Stuart’s, and was sent back to Astoria, but shortly afterwards he died there.  The well-known John Day’s River was so called in his honour.

[4] From an inspection of the map which accompanied Stuart’s march, this stream was evidently the headwater of the North Fork of the Platte; but he was not aware of the fact.

[5] Grand Island in the Platte River was thus originally named by the early trappers and voyageurs, the majority of whom were French Canadians.

[6] See Astoria, by Washington Irving.

[7] This was not Kit Carson.  The great frontiersman did not make his advent in the mountains until years afterward.

[8] An Indian vapour-bath, or sweating-house, is a square six or eight feet deep, usually built against a river bank, by damming up the other three sides with mud, and covering the top completely, excepting an opening about two feet wide.  The bather gets into the hole, taking with him a number of stones that have been heated, and a vessel filled with water.  After seating himself he begins to pour the water on the hot stones, until the steam generated is sufficient to answer his purpose.  When he has perspired freely, he goes out and plunges in the stream, the colder the water the better.

[9] Rose lived with the Crows many years, became a great man among them, could speak their language fluently.  He was a giant, and fearless to recklessness, and by his deeds of daring became one of the first braves of the tribe.  At one time, in a desperate fight with the Blackfeet, he shot down the first savage who opposed him, and with the war-club of his victim killed four others.  His name among the Crows was “Che-ku-kaats,” or the man who killed five.  His knowledge of the country was marvellous, and some years after his adoption by the tribe, he was the principle guide and interpreter for Fitzpatrick and Sublette, who conducted a trapping expedition sent across the continent by General Ashley.  How he died is unknown; one rumour says from his licentious habits, another that he was killed by some of his adopted brethren.  He was a heroic vagabond, but the redeeming feature of his life was that he taught the Crows to cultivate the friendship of the whites, a policy which that tribe observed for years.

Project Gutenberg
The Great Salt Lake Trail from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook