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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Utah Geological Association


Geology of Northwest Utah, Southern Idaho and Northeast Nevada, 1984
Pages 15-20

City of Rocks and Granite Pass

Merle W. Wells


City of Rocks, an interesting assembly of eroded granite monuments about 4 to 8 mi north of Utah, became a prominent emigrant landmark because Granite Pass funneled California Trail traffic through that area. No really acceptable California emigrant road could be found south of Granite Pass, and any detour farther north would have been unnecessarily long. Thousands of emigrant wagons and saddle trains came through or near City of Rocks after 1842 in order to reach a Humboldt Valley passage to their Sacramento Valley destination. Many travelers kept diaries of their trips, with City of Rocks a notable feature recognized in many of their accounts. City of Rocks created considerable interest in geology among California gold rush fortune-seekers and their followers after 1849.

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