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The Trek


Fort Bridger

Distance: 1183 miles from Nauvoo

Courtesy Church History Library and Archives

At this famous fort, the Oregon Trail swung north from Fort Bridger while the Mormon Trail continued on another 100 miles west to the Salt Lake Valley. In 1855, the Church purchased the fort from Jim Bridger and his partner, Louis Vazquez, for $18,000. In September of 1857 it was burned to the ground to keep it from falling into the hands of Albert Sidney Johnston's advancing federal army during the so-called "Utah War."

Journal Entries

William I. Appleby
17 October 1849
"Moved forward fifteen miles again today and encamped near Bridger's Fort. Weather cold. Several of the boys and girls from camp went to Bridger's in the evening, by his invitation, and had a ball. He treated them kindly with raisins, sugar, tea, etc. Ezra T. Benson's camp left there during the day, and also Capt. Richards'." (William I. Appleby, Journal 17 October 1949, as printed in the Journal History, 29 October 1849, HDC.)

Abner Blackburn
"Next day campt on Hams Fork, then to Blacks Fork [and] from the[re] to Ft. Bridger. Old Jim Bridger and his trappers gave us a hearty welcome to our company. He is the oldest trapper in the mountains and can tell some wonderful stories." (Will Bagley, ed., Frontiersman, Abner Blackburn's Narrative [Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1992], 61.)

Locations Along the Trail