Salt Desert East of Donner Spring - Hastings Cutoff

Photograph: Al Mulder

Made on the Salt Desert east of Donner Spring, UT.

Marking the Hastings Cutoff / Donner-Reed / Great Salt Desert Trail. Donner Springs and Pilot Peak are in the background. These last ten miles of the trail before reaching water after traveling nearly a hundred miles without a well or watering hole were the scene of great suffering by the pioneers and their animals. Nevertheless, hundreds made it across this portion of the cutoff before its reputation for extreme hardship made it fall out of favor even with those looking for the shortest possible route to California.

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Revised: 10/25/04