Independence Rock

One of the most famous of landmarks along the entire trail, Indpendence Rock is a solid piece of granite protruding from the desert floor. Travelers on the trail used it as a guage of their progress -- if they arrived here by the 4th of July, they were on schedule (thus the name). It was traditional to celebrate Independence Day here, regardless of the date. Climbing the rock was a popular diversion (it still is!) and thousands of trail travelers left their names carved into the granite.

The trail first met the Sweetwater River here at Independence Rock and would follow that river all the way to South Pass.

Independence Rock

View looking southeast along Independence Rock towards the Sentinel Rocks

Looking south from the climb on Independence Rock -- towards the Sweetwater River and Sentinel Rocks

Thousands of emigrants carved their names on the rock

Independence Rock and the Sweetwater River

Another view of the Sweetwater River and Inependence Rock

MSR Maps link for this location