Oregon Trail emigrants faced high risks crossing the North Platte River near present Casper, Wyo. River crossings were extremely dangerous; operators of commercial ferries and bridges charged steep prices. Until bridges were built, many people and animals drowned in the swift, deep, shockingly cold water of the Platte.
Browse Articles about Transportation
|La Prele Creek, Oregon Trail crossing of||WyoHistory.org|
|Lajeunesse family and 1868 wagon train attack||Rebecca Hein|
|Lamoreaux family and 1868 wagon train attack||Rebecca Hein|
|Lander Trail, New Fork River Crossing||Clint Gilchrist|
|Laramie Peak, Oregon Trail landmark||WyoHistory.org|
|Lombard Ferry on the Green River||Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office|
|Magill, Ada, Oregon Trail grave of||WyoHistory.org|
|Medicine Bow Peak, plane crash into, 1955||Thaddeus Mast|
|Mormon ferry, North Platte River||WyoHistory.org|
|New Fork River Crossing||Clint Gilchrist|
Fifteen miles from Prospect Hill, Oregon Trail emigrants as they neared Independence Rock began passing shallow, sometimes dry lakes. If dry, the lake floors were encrusted with snow-white alkali—essentially baking soda—which the pioneers called saleratus. It worked well for raising bread baked over sagebrush campfires.
Poetry, shouts and song—year after year, reactions were similar when Oregon Trail emigrants managed the steep climb up Prospect Hill, also called Ryan Hill, on the road from the North Platte to Independence Rock. The sight of range after range of mountains greeted them—a sweeping view of new country.