South Pass
Metadata
Title:South Pass
Other Names:Southern Pass
History:This is the most important site on the Oregon Trail. It marks the halfway point on the journey and is the entrance into "Oregon Country." The Pass is shallow and wide at the top and has a very gentle grade going up. Emigrants frequently did not recognize the pass until they reached the summit. The descent to Pacific Springs is steeper. The pass was first discovered by the Astorian party led by Robert Stuart in 1812, and is the key to the entire route. (Wyoming Recreation Commission, 1984) The South Pass was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. (National Register of Historic Places)
County:Fremont
Feature Category:Land Features
Origin Of Name:This is the most celebrated pass of the entire length of the Continental Divide. It is less than 7,500 feet above sea level. It is one of the few passes that is free of timber. The name was virtually given before the pass was discovered. It was long recognized that a pass must be found south of those crossed by Lewis and Clark, and Southern Pass, in contrast to the northern pass, was a term already well recognized. But when that remarkable crossing of the mountains came into use the name fell naturally upon it, and was quickly adopted as South Pass. (WPA) "Saturday, June 21.—Broke camp at 5.30 a. m., in the midst of a driving storm of cold rain, which soon turned into snow, and marched 10.6 miles to the stage-station at Pacific Springs. Here the storm turned into a severe gale of cold wind. Wood, grass, and water at this camp, which is on the northern border of the hot sage-brush plain over which we have been traveling. This vicinity is the "South Pass" of the early geographers, about which there has been so much fictitious writing and picture-making. As there are no mountains about it, and as the old road hardly crosses a hill of any magnitude, the misnomer is evident. The road, however, crosses at this point the divide between the Atlantic and the Pacific flowing waters, and this gave origin to the name." (Jones)This is the most important site on the Oregon Trail. It marks the halfway point on the journey and is the entrance into "Oregon Country." The Pass is shallow and wide at the top and has a very gentle grade going up. Emigrants frequently did not recognize the pass until they reached the summit. The descent to Pacific Springs is steeper. The pass was first discovered by the Astorian party led by Robert Stuart in 1812, and is the key to the entire route. (Wyoming Recreation Commission, 1984) The South Pass was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. (National Register of Historic Places)
Topic:Will Bagley. South Pass, Wyoming. WyoHistory.org
Link:Search Wyoming Places
Document ID:11141551

Links
Digital Library:
© 2018 Wyoming State Library; all rights reserved.
Wyoming State Library