Skip main navigation
Skip main navigation

The Trek


South Pass (and Pacific Springs)

Distance: 1065 miles from Nauvoo

South Pass, often referred to as the Cumberland Gap of the West, is the threshold of the Continental Divide. Pacific Springs, just beyond South Pass, bears its name because of the westward flow of the water toward the Pacific Ocean.

Journal Entries

Nelson W. Whipple
August 1850
"After we past the South Pass as it is cald the captin told his Company that if they felt like dancing to dance and injoy them Selves as he felt as though we was deliverd from under the hands of our [enemies] who would not have the power to abuse us as they had before done."
(Nelson Wheeler Whipple, Autobiography and Journal, August 1850, HDC.)

John Chislett
October 1856
"Near South Pass we found more brethren from the Valley, with several quarters of good fat beef handing frozen on the limbs of the trees where they were encamped. These quarters of beef were to us the handsomest pictures we ever saw. The statues of Michael Angelo, or the paintings of the ancient masters, would have been to us nothing in comparison to these life-giving pictures."
(John Chislett, as quoted by LeRoy R. and Ann W. Hafen, Handcarts to Zion [Glendale, Ca.: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1960], 130.)

Locations Along the Trail