“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Soda Springs in Caribou County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)

Guiding Landmark...

Sheep Rock

Guiding Landmark... Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 22, 2017
1. Guiding Landmark... Marker
Caption: (bottom right) Many trail emigrants, in the 1840s and 50s, wrote that the Soda Springs area was one of the greatest natural marvels they had ever seen. Explore its other geologic wonders during your visit.
Inscription. Towering 1200 feet above the waters of Bear River is Sheep Rock, a prominent landmark described in emigrant diaries and journals as they traveled west on the Oregon and California trails. Trapper and mountain men, in the early 1830s, indicate that a sizable flock of bighorn mountain sheep occupied its forested, rocky ridge throughout the year. Modern-day maps identified this feature as Soda Point. - the northern end of the Wasatch Mountain Range that tower above the Great Salt Lake Valley.
The Bear River flows north out of Utah's Uinta Mountains into southwestern Wyoming where it continues toward Soda Point and them makes a sweeping turn to the south, flowing back to Utah and into the Great Salt Lake. Its relatively level valleys provide Oregon and California bound emigrants with a good road surface as they made their way towards the Hudson's Bay Company trading post at Fort Hall. A short distance west from Soda Springs the trail divides. Oregon bound wagons headed northwest to Fort Hall, and Californians turned west along the Hudspeth Cutoff toward the Humboldt River in northern Nevada.
In early August 1841, thirty-nine members of the Bidwell-Bartleson wagon party followed the Bear south to the Great Salt Lake before turning west through the desert to connect with the Humboldt and were finally forced to abandon their
Guiding Landmark... Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 22, 2017
2. Guiding Landmark... Marker
wagons in Utah's west desert. Four months later, all 39 members - tired and starving - finally made it to California.

Elisha Douglass Perkins
(August 8, 1849)
" Crossing the plain some 4 miles from the spring we camped in the bend of Bear River where it turns to the South. We were on an Elevated plain, on the opposite side of the River was a huge precipitous mountain & the River ran between its base & a ledge of rocks forming the boundary of the plain some 75 or 100 feet high. Our animals could not get to water at all & we were obliged to scramble up the ledge with a bucket apiece for our own use."

John C. Fremont
(August 25, 1843)
"In sweeping around the point of the mountain which runs down into the bend, the river here passes between perpendicular walls of basalt, which always fix the attention, from the regular form in which it occurs, and its perfect distinctness from the surrounding rocks among which it has been placed. The mountain, which is rugged and steep, and by our measurement, 1,400 feet above the river directly opposite the place of our halt, is called Sheep rock - probably because a flock of the common mountain sheep (ovis montana) had been seen on the craggy point."

Erected by Department of the Interior, National Park Service.
Marker series.
Sheep Rock image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 22, 2017
3. Sheep Rock
This marker is included in the Oregon Trail marker series.
Location. 42° 38.862′ N, 111° 42.124′ W. Marker is near Soda Springs, Idaho, in Caribou County. Marker is on Soda Point Power Plant Road near Reservoir Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1599 Soda Point Power Plant Road, Soda Springs ID 83276, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Horatio's Journey (here, next to this marker); William Henry Harrison (here, next to this marker); The Value Of A Shortcut (a few steps from this marker); John Bidwell (a few steps from this marker); Bear River Lava (a few steps from this marker); Hudspeth Cutoff (a few steps from this marker); Fort Hall (a few steps from this marker); Sheep Rock Geology (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Soda Springs.
Categories. Natural FeaturesRoads & Vehicles
Credits. This page was last revised on August 8, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 8, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 146 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 8, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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