93. A-17 Big Mountain – Information

A reenactment of Mormon Pioneers entering the Salt Lake Valley. Library of Congress image
An illustrated map of the Mormon Pioneer trek of 1846-47. Library of Congress image.
Mormon pioneers on the trail
Moving wagons up and down steep mountains was no easy feat.

Big Mountain Pass provided emigrants their first happy glimpse of the Salt Lake Valley. Reaching the valley required a hair-raising descent: wagons, with high centers of gravity, could not switchback down slopes for fear of toppling over and crashing. Oxen could not balance and wagons could not brake effectively when “sideling” along a hill. Most emigrants locked their wheels with chains and skidded their wagons straight down the mountainside.