Echo Canyon is located on Interstate 80 between Echo, Utah and the Wyoming Boarder. Echo Canyon is a huge part of American history. It's story began a very long time ago, as the great Buffalo Herds covered the High Plains of Wyoming. The American Indians would use this trail to get from the summer camps to the winter camps and to hunt the giant herds of Buffalo. Although the great Buffalo herds are all gone now and the American Indians are no longer roaming the plans to survive.
Echo Canyon is famous for many reasons but several stand out the most in its long list of events in American history. In the mid 1880's the sear number of settlers going west was incredible. Echo Canyon was one of the passages that was well used. The Mormon Immigrants traveled this way by wagon, handcarts, and foot.
Several wagon masters tried to take a different path through this part of the country and found harsh country waiting for them. In July 1846 the Harlan-Young party past this cut off and drove to the Weber River it was named for Captain John Weber that found this same passage in 1823. They two found the raging river and hard ships.
Also that year the worst wagon train disaster, followed in a similar fait by passing the cut off of Echo Canyon. The Wagon Master decided to try an unknown passage west to the Great Salt Lake. This passage proved to spell disaster and took 21 days to go 36 miles. Due to the extra time it took this party to get though the passage it left them in the Sierra Nevada in late autumn. This proved fatal for them as the snow came early that year and killed most of them. The Donner Reed party would go down in American History as one of the biggest blunders in the movement to the west.
Echo Canyon's history does not stop there. As the settlers began to use this passage the mail followed. The pony express soon began to use this passage to deliver the messages to the settlers on the other side. When the telegraph lines sprung up the Pony Express was ended. But progress did not, soon the giant steam engines roared through Echo Canyon and then east and west was linked and the settlement was complete.
As time has past highways and Interstates were built along the passages that once were used by hundreds of thousands of pioneers flocking to the west in the hopes of a better life for them and their families. Today we don't use a wagon but the exoduses continues both west and east. In the search for a better life. Although we are no longer called pioneers we are all looking for something better for our families.
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