Skip main navigation

Rocky Ridge

Distance: 1038 miles from Nauvoo

Pioneer Trail


East of Rocky Ridge, at the sixth crossing of the Sweetwater, the ill-fated Willie Company became snowbound. Captain Willie and another company member forced their way through the snow and found the rescue party riding out the storm. After relating the desperate conditions of the company, the rescuers pushed east with supplies. The Willie Handcart Company finally made it into Salt Lake City on 9 November, minus more than seventy members who had died along the trail.

Journal Entries

John Chislett, Willie Handcart Company

October 1856

"We had found a good camp among the willows, and after warming and partially drying ourselves before good fires, we ate our scanty fare, paid our usual devotions to the Deity and retired to rest with hopes of coming aid..." Read More


Jens Pederson

23 October 1856

"When they were having such hard times with low rations and cold weather, one man decided he didn't want to put up with any more so just said he wasn't going another step. Different ones tried to talk to him and urge him to go on, but had no effect upon his decision. Grandpa, Jens O. Pederson asked for permission to talk to the man..." Read More


Levi Savage

23 October 1856

"We buried our dead, got up our teams and about nine o'clock a.m. commenced ascending the Rocky Ridge. This was a severe day. The wind blew hard and cold. The ascent was some five miles long and some places steep and covered with deep snow..." Read More