The Oregon Trail -- Part 5
First named by fur traders who were camped in the area on July 4, 1824, Independence Rock had a special significance for pioneers on the Oregon Trail. They knew that if they hadn't reached this milestone by Independence Day, they risked being caught in snowstorms before they reached their destination.
As was the case with Register Cliffs further east in Wyoming, Independence Rock was a place for emigrants to carve their names and leave messages. Unlike Register Cliff, which is composed of softer stone that made inscriptions relatively easy, the granite of Independence Rock meant pioneers had a harder time inscribing anything on it.
Although difficult to read, this sign provides more information about what a Jesuit missionary called "The Great Record of the Desert."