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Near Farson in Sweetwater County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Pilot Butte

 
 
Pilot Butte Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, May 28, 2013
1. Pilot Butte Marker
Inscription.  On the horizon about 25 miles to the south is Pilot Butte. An important landmark, Pilot Butte served as a guide post separating South Pass trails from the more southerly Overland Trail that crossed southern Wyoming. Oddly enough, Pilot Butte was more important to travelers headed east than it was for west-bound emigrants.

The name Pilot Butte appears on fur trade maps at least as early as 1837. Captain Howard Stansbury mentioned Pilot Butte on September 12, 1850, as his column of topographic engineers travelled east from Fort Bridger guided by Jim Bridger.

Stansbury's journal reads, "... we came in sight of a high butte, situated on the eastern side of the Green River, some forty miles distant: a landmark well known to the traders, and called by them Pilot Butte."

The butte grew in importance as a landmark as traffic eastward increased in the 1850s and especially in 1862 when Ben Holladay moved his stagecoach and freighting operations from the Oregon Trail south to the Overland route.

Interestingly, the butte sits atop White Mountain and is just north of the original location of the Rock Springs airport.
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Thus, Pilot Butte was used as a landmark by early-day pilots - flying the first airmail routes across the nation.

Stand in the trail ruts immediately in front of this sign, look at Pilot Butte, and feel the passage of history.
 
Erected by Bureau of Land Management.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1843.
 
Location. 41° 59.893′ N, 109° 37.344′ W. Marker is near Farson, Wyoming, in Sweetwater County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 28, 11˝ miles west of U.S. 191, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Farson WY 82932, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First Transcontinental Telegraph (a few steps from this marker); Death on the Trail (a few steps from this marker); Emigrant/Indian Relations (within shouting distance of this marker); "Graves" of the Unknown Emigrants (within shouting distance of this marker); Burial on the Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Pilot Butte & "Graves" of the Unknown Emigrants (within shouting distance of this marker); Continuing the Journey West
Pilot Butte Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, May 28, 2013
2. Pilot Butte Marker
Marker is in center back of photo
(within shouting distance of this marker); Simpson's Hollow (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Farson.
 
More about this marker. Marker is one of eight interpretive signs at the Pilot Butte Emigrant Trails Interpretive Site. Sign donated by the Wyoming Centennial Commission.
 
Pilot Butte image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, May 28, 2013
3. Pilot Butte
Viewed from Pilot Butte Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 26, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,159 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 26, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.

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Feb. 26, 2024