West Wendover in Elko County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
The Hastings Cutoff
- Taking the Long Way
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
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.
”Anguish and dismay now filled all hearts. Husbands bowed their heads, appalled at the situation of their families. Some cursed Hastings for the false statements in his open letter and for his broken pledge at Fort Bridger. They cursed him also for his misrepresentation of the distance across this cruel desert. Mothers in tearless agony clasped their children to their bosoms with the old, old cry, 'Father, Thy will not mine, be done.’ It was plain that try as we might, we could not get back to Fort Bridger. We must proceed, regardless of the fearful outlook…”
Eliza Donner, 1846
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Exploration • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1846.
Location. 40° 44.444′ N, 114° 4.35′ W. Marker is in West Wendover, Nevada, in Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: West Wendover NV 89883, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Victory Highway (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln Highway (within shouting distance of this marker); Western Pacific Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Wendover Field (within shouting distance of this marker); Ancient Lake Bonneville (within shouting distance of this marker); Transcontinental Telephone Line (within shouting distance of this marker); Wendover Will Reclaims Skyline Once Again (within shouting distance of this marker); 509th Composite Group – First Atomic Bombardment (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Wendover.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 7, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 16, 2014, by Chris English of Phoenix, Arizona. This page has been viewed 599 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on July 16, 2014, by Chris English of Phoenix, Arizona. 2, 3. submitted on March 26, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 4. submitted on July 16, 2014, by Chris English of Phoenix, Arizona. 5. submitted on March 26, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 6. submitted on August 7, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.