While following the Santa Fe Trail during the first part of their journey, members of the Mormon Battalion camped at a site in Mora County, N.M., named for the geological feature seen here: Wagon Mound.
It is called Wagon Mound because, using a little imagination, one can picture a covered wagon being pulled by a team. It was referred to as the last major landmark on the Cimarron cutoff of the Santa Fe Trail. The Cimarron and Mountain routes merge just south of Wagon Mound.
A small village of the same name is situated near the mound. Accounts note that the battalion arrived at Wagon Mound Oct. 4, 1846. Because of good water and grass for the animals, some called this site the Valley of Hope.