The trail crosses parts of five states: Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming and Utah.

• Between 1846 and 1869, some 70,000 Mormons traveled west on the trail. Some 3,000 of them pulled handcarts.

The first wagons left Nauvoo and crossed the Mississippi River on Feb. 4, 1846.

The first pioneers reached Garden Grove on April 24, 1846. This was the halfway point across Iowa and was one of several semipermanent camps set up for the use of later immigrants.

• On June 14, 1846, Brigham Young arrived on the banks of the Missouri River.

• On April 5, 1847, the first group, led by Brigham Young, left Winter Quarters and headed west.

The first party included 143 men, three women, two boys, 72 wagons, 93 horses, 66 oxen, 52 mules, 19 cows, 17 dogs and some chickens.

The final 116 miles, from Fort Bridger to the valley of the Great Salt Lake, were the most difficult, not only because of rough terrain but also because wagons were worn and people were tired from walking. This section took 14 days.

The first sighting of the valley came on July 22, 1847.

• On Nov. 18, 1978, Congress established the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail as part of the National Trail System.

The designated corridor is almost 1,300 miles long. Land ownership along the trail is made up of 822 miles (64 percent) on private land, 264 miles (20 percent) under federal management and 214 miles (16 percent) in state and local ownership.

SOURCE: "Mormon Pioneer Trail" National Park Service guide, tucked in a back pocket of "The Mormon Trail Revisited," by Gregory Franzwa.