See what the pioneers thought, felt as they first came to the Salt Lake Valley

The first company of Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley at the end of July 1847, blazing — and sometimes quite literally building — the trail for thousands of pioneers to follow.

Many of the pioneers who came to Salt Lake recorded their first impressions of the area in journals and personal histories, noting (among other things) the "many great black crickets," "the Great Salt Lake glittering in the sun in the distance," the "many mosquitos," and the thick grass, beautiful streams, hot springs and serious lack of timber.

See the Salt Lake Valley through the eyes of the pioneers who entered it on July 24, 1847, as well as the pioneers who came before and followed after.

Related: The ultimate Pioneer Day challenge: Test your knowledge of Utah's heritage

Related: A photographic look back at the Days of '47 Parade, from 1864 to 2013

Related: A photographic look at how Days of '47 floats have changed — or not — from 1897 to 2013

Related: From Kings Peak to Bryce Canyon, meet 26 of the faces behind Utah places
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Provo, UT

What great people! Their expressions, in seeing the valley in the tops of the mountains, are poetic and faith filled...They have left worthy footprints to follow. Love the pioneers and July in Utah!

Julie gluten free mother

As I sit in my cool and comfortable house waiting to leave in my air conditioned car to drive to a nice cool movie theater I appreciate the moment to remember the pioneers and all they suffered. Some people consider Utah the laughing stock of the country due to it's strange liquor laws etc. But the state is here because people with strong beliefs settled the state and have descendants with the same beliefs. I am proud to be part of a state the rest of the country mocks. We are a state where people are willing to run for office and fight to keep our laws. We are a state where people take the time to vote for those men and women. I see comments from people complaining and always suggest they run for office and work to get people to vote for them. You get what you work for. I love this state.

BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

Let's remember to thank the earlier Donner Party for cutting a path for Wagons down Emigration Canyon. Otherwise we would be celebrating Pioneer day in Mid-August rather than Late July.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments