Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Independence Rock, Devil's Gate, & Split Rock

On September 18, we visited more landmarks along the Oregon Trail. First, and most famous, was Independence Rock, a Wyoming State Historic Site, located southwest of Casper, Wyoming.

The whale-like shape in the above photo shows Independence Rock as it may have appeared to the wagon trains as they approached it from the east.
Display at the entrance to the Independence Rock State Historic Site
Although there’s nothing awe-inspiring about the appearance of Independence Rock, it is situated almost halfway between the Missouri River and the Pacific Coast, making it an important milestone for travelers on the wagon train trails to California, Utah, and Oregon.

The west side of Independence Rock
(Photo taken from the entrance to the State Historic Site.)
A small peak on the travelers' approach to Independence Rock, called Prospect Hill, was so named because, from its summit, one could see Independence Rock and the additional landmarks of Devil’s Gate and Split Rock for the first time. Natural landmarks such as these allowed travelers to track their progress along the trail.

This picture looks at the wagon trail as it continues westward from Independence Rock. Barely visible on the far horizon is a notch in the rocks that marks the next landmark, Devil's Gate.

Devil's Gate, which was a day's travel west of Independence Rock for the wagon trains

Split Rock was the next major landmark on the trail.

I'll leave you with two more pictures from that day's road trip:


Our destination for that night was Riverton, Wyoming. The above two images show some of the Wyoming countryside along Wyoming Highway 135, south of Riverton.



  1. Beautiful are your photos, Linda!
    Greetings, RW & SK

  2. Viewing your beautiful pictures make it so easy to imagine being on a wagon train and following the trail westward!

  3. Great photos, Linda. Having never visited there I've really enjoyed your account of the trip. I've read lots of books about families and individuals who traveled to the West past these landmarks that didn't supply a single photo (or drawing) of the travelers' view. They should have hired you to supply the illustrations.;) Have a great day!

  4. i just can't imagine such a long and rough trek. these markers must have given them hope.

  5. The Wyoming countryside has a stark beauty to it. I'm not sure I would want to see it from a wagon train, however. I enjoy seeing these sights through your beautiful photos.

  6. I can't even begin to imagine the hardships that the wagon train folks must have endured. That's quite a trek they undertook.

  7. What a trip! I've always wanted to visit Wyoming. You had some pretty weather to travel in and got some very pretty images. :)

  8. I'm a history nerd- love this! Thanks for sharing!

  9. There is something very soothing in these barren landscapes. Maybe it's the notion of history that lies beneath, and since it's a milestone for travelers, maybe there is the feeling of arrival and accomplishment too.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  10. The landscape in your photographs reminds me of just what a hearty bunch these settlers were. Do we still have such intrepid folks?

  11. It is fascinating to see these places.At the same time it is hard to fathom just how slow travel was back then and how dangerous.Thanks for taking us on these travels,it may be the only way some of us get to see these places.

  12. I just sat here wondering how in the world those wagon trains made it our west back then… I'm sure they loved having specific landmarks to look for.. Great post, Linda.

  13. Great shots.
    I love that last shot with the clouds bubbling in the horizon.

  14. i agree... luv history. didn't realize that until i was finished with school. luv the covered wagon. need one of those. wonder how fast i could go? ( :

  15. Seeing all those pics from around there, makes me want to go on holiday now ;-)

  16. Good Morning, Linda,
    The pictures were beautiful and made me feel like I took a vacation out west. That is the way I like to travel (smile).
    The story about the dogs and waitress at the café you ate was really interesting and seeing her belt buckle - wow, it was beautiful.
    Also, loved seeing Devil's Gate since I have read so many books about wagon trains headed west - and also Independence Rock. What did you say was your favorite place to visit? I'll look for those pictures. Looking forward to more stories and also getting to see the Smokey Mountains in November. Our leaves this fall were breath-taking - even in our own yard!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...