The Mormon Trail or the Mormon Pioneer Trail is the 1,300 mile route that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints traveled from 1846 to 1868. Today the Mormon Trail is a part of the U.S. National Trails System, called the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail.
The Mormon Trail starts from Nauvoo, Illinois, which was the major settlement of the Latter Day Saints from about 1839 to 1846, to Utah's Salt Lake City, which was settled by their leader Brigham Young and his followers beginning in 1847. From Council Bluffs, Iowa to Fort Bridger in the state of Wyoming, the Mormon trail follows much the same route(s) as the Oregon Trail and the California Trail; these two trails are collectively known as the Emigrant Trail.
The Mormon pioneer movement began in 1846 when, in the face of angry conflicts with neighbors, Brigham Young decided to leave and abandon Nauvoo and to re-establish a new home for the church in the Great Basin area. That year Young's followers crossed the state of Iowa. Along the way, some were assigned to establish smaller node settlements and to plant and harvest crops for later emigrants following. During the winter of 1846–47, the emigrants wintered in Iowa, and other nearby states, and the unorganized state territory that later became Nebraska, with the largest group staying in Winter Quarters, Nebraska. In the spring of 1847, Young led the followers to the Salt Lake Valley, which was then outside the boundaries of the United States and later became the state of Utah. During the first few years, the emigrants were mostly former occupants of the settlement of Nauvoo who were following Young's path to Utah. Later, the emigrants increasingly comprised of converts from the British Isles and Europe.
Mormon Trail landmarks and stops: Sugar Creek, Richardson's Point, Chariton River Crossing, Locust Creek, Garden Grove, Mount Pisgah, Nishnabotna River Crossing, Grand Encampment, Kanesville, Winter Quarters, Elkhorn River, Platte River, Loup Fork, Fort Kearny, Confluence Point, Ash Hollow, Chimney Rock, Scotts Bluff, Fort Laramie, Upper Platte/Mormon Ferry, Red Butte, Sweetwater River, Independence Rock, Devil's Gate, Martin's Cove, Rocky Ridge, Rock Creek, South Pass, Green River/Lombard Ferry, Fort Bridger, Bear River, The Needles, Echo Canyon, Big Mountain, Golden Pass Road, Emigration Canyon, Salt Lake Valley.