South Pass

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South Pass (Continental Divide) — South Pass, located between the modern towns of Atlantic City and Farson, was one of the most important landmarks of the Mormon Trail, where the trail crosses the Continental Divide. Near South Pass is Pacific Springs, which received its name because its waters ran to the Pacific Ocean. There's no narrow gorge here--this gap in the Rockies is miles wide. South Pass was the key to the Continental Divide.

The South Pass was the doorway through the Rockies for emigrants on the Oregon Trail. South Pass is the gentle ascent where the trail crosses the Continental Divide in Wyoming. It was called "Uncle Sam's backbone" by the emigrants. The first South Pass City was an 1850s stage and telegraph station where the trail made its final crossing of the Sweetwater River. That nearby site is now known as Burnt Ranch. Without South Pass, wagon travel across the continent would have been impossible and Oregon and California would probably not have become a part of the United States.

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