“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
West Wendover in Elko County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)

The Hastings Cutoff

- Taking the Long Way

The Hastings Cutoff Marker image. Click for full size.
By Chris English, September 7, 2014
1. The Hastings Cutoff Marker
Inscription. In 1846, Lansford W. Hastings led a group of about 60 emigrant wagons on a route that diverged from the California Trail near Fort Bridger, Wyoming. After encountering almost impassable difficulties getting through the Wasatch Mountains via Weber Canyon, Hastings left word for the Donner-Reed party - following his trail - not to attempt Weber Canyon. The Donner-Reed party found his written warning and set James Reed to find Hastings and get his advice. Following Hastings' advice, the Donner-Reed party chose to reach the valley of the Great Salt Lake by way of Emigration Canyon. Unfortunately, it took 18 days of cutting and hacking trees and brush to bring the Donner-Reed wagons to the valley.

From this point, they followed Hastings' trail across the Western Desert and the Salt Flats east of present day Wendover, crossing the route of I-80 about 50 miles east of here. Traveling for three days without water for themselves and their livestock, abandoning wagons and equipment, they finally arrived at fresh-water springs near Pilot Peak, 20 miles north of Wendover.

Still following Hastings' train, they crossed the route of I-80 at Silver Zone Pass, about 20 miles west of here. They continued on and took Hastings' long detour around the Ruby Mountains, finally rejoining the California Trail at the site of the present-day
The California Trail Marker Series of West Wendover image. Click for full size.
By Chris English, September 7, 2014
2. The California Trail Marker Series of West Wendover
National California Emigrant Trail Interpretive Center at Elko, Nevada.

After being delayed by following Hastings route, the Donner-Reed party was trapped by October snows at what is now called Donner Pass and spent a horrible winter in survival mode before being rescued in the early spring of 1847.
Location. 40° 44.444′ N, 114° 4.35′ W. Marker is in West Wendover, Nevada, in Elko County. Marker is on Wendover Boulevard (Business Route 80) one mile west of Alternate U.S. 93, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: West Wendover NV 89883, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wendover Will Reclaims Skyline Once Again (within shouting distance of this marker); 509th Composite Group – First Atomic Bombardment (approx. 0.9 miles away); Control Tower (approx. 2 miles away in Utah); Bomb Squadron Hangar (approx. 2 miles away in Utah); South Base Area (approx. 2 miles away in Utah); Operations Building (approx. 2.1 miles away in Utah); Atomic Mission Hangar 1831 (approx. 2.4 miles away in Utah); Base Chapel (approx. 2˝ miles away in Utah). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Wendover.
Categories. ExplorationSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 16, 2014, by Chris English of Phoenix, Arizona. This page has been viewed 359 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 16, 2014, by Chris English of Phoenix, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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