The Prairie Traveler by Randolph Barnes Marcy, Captain, U.S.A.


XXV.--Wagon-route from Denver City at the
Mouth of Cherry Creek, to Fort Bridger, Utah.


          Denver City to
  5.      Vasquez Fork.--Good road and fine camp.
 19 1/2.  Thompson's Fork.--Road crosses three creeks about five
            miles apart, is good, and the camp is well supplied
            with water and grass, but wood is scarce.
 16 1/2.  Bent's Fork.--Road crosses two streams about five miles
            apart; no wood on the first. Good camp.
 26.      Cashe la Poudre River.--Excellent road crossing two
            streams at ten and twenty-three miles from the last
            camp; good camps on both. Cashe la Poudre is a fine
            large stream which issues from the mountains near the
            road, and is difficult to cross in high water. It has
            a firm bottom. Good camps along this stream, with
            plenty of wood and grass.
 16.      Beaver Creek.--Road turns to the left and enters the
            hills, ascending very gradually between two lines of
            bluffs, and is good except in wet weather. Good camp.
 19.      Small Branch.--Road crosses Beaver Creek three times,
            affording good camps. Road is hilly, but not very
            rough, passing for a portion of the distance through
            a timbered region. Elk and mountain sheep are
            abundant in this section. The camp is near the summit
            of the divide. Grass short.
 17 1/2.  Tributary of Laramie River.--Good road on the divide.
            Grass and water plenty, but wood not abundant.
 18 1/2.  Tributary of Laramie River.--Road passes Laramie Fork
            three miles from the last camp. Good camp.
 21.      Tributary of Laramie River.--Road crosses a small creek
            at 14 miles from last camp. Fine camp.
 17.      Medicine Bow Creek.--At twelve miles the road crosses
            Sulphur Spring Creek, and at the West Fork of the
            Laramie Lieutenant Bryan's road enters. At ten miles
            from the last camp there are two roads--one, Bryan's,
            leading north of the Medicine Bow Butte, and the
            other to the south of it. The former is the best.
            Good camp.
 17 1/2.  Prairie Creek.--Fine camp. A portion of the road is
            very rough. It crosses several small branches upon
            which good camps may be had. Fine game section, with
            bear, elk, etc., in great abundance.
 12 1/2.  North Fork of the Platte.--Excellent camp. Leave
            Bryan's road four miles back, taking the left, which
            is altogether the best of the two. The crossing of
            the Platte is good except in high water, when it is
            very rapid. A flat-boat was left here by Colonel
            Loring's command in 1858.
 12 1/2.  Clear Creek.--Sage for fuel; grass short.
 23.      Dry Creek.--Road leaves Bryan's trail to Bridger's
            Pass, and bears to the right, passing over a smooth
            country covered with sage and poorly watered; passes
            a pond of milky water at thirteen miles. There is
            water in Dry Creek except in a very dry season. Two
            miles from the creek, on the old trail, there is a
            fine spring on the left of the road, which runs down
            into the road, and here is the best grass after
            leaving the Platte, with plenty of fuel.
 10 1/2.  Muddy Creek.--Road leaves the old Cherokee trail at Dry
            Creek, and bears to the left. Good camp for a limited
            number of animals; fine grass along near the bank of
            the creek. Bad crossing. Buffalo seen here.
 19 1/2.  Lake.--Old trail enters near this camp. Road passes a
            brackish spring four miles back. The road may be
            shortened by bearing to the left and skirting the
            hills for about six miles before reaching the lake.
            The water in the lake is not good, but drinkable, and
            will be abundant except in the very dryest part of
            the summer. Grass is good on the hills. The road from
            Dry Creek is shorter than the old road by 30 miles.
 24 1/2.  Red Lakes.--Road is good, but traverses a very dry and
            sterile region. The water is not good in the lakes,
            but drinkable, and may go dry in midsummer. Grass
 22.      Seminoes Spring.--After passing the flats at the Red
            Lakes the road is smooth and good, and there is a
            good camp at Seminoes Spring.
 12 1/2.  Bitter Creek.--New road to the left, cutting off ten or
            twelve miles. Good camp; water a little saline, but
 25.      Sulphur Spring.--Road runs along the valley of Bitter
            Creek, where there is but little grass until reaching
            camp. Animals should be driven across the creek into
            the hills, where the best grass is found.
 17.      Green River.--Road leaves Bitter Creek, at Sulphur
            Spring, and passes near some high bluffs, where there
            are small springs and good grass. Excellent camp at
            Green River. From here the road runs over the same
            track as Bryan's road to Fort Bridger. From all the
            information I have been able to obtain regarding
            Lieutenant Bryan's road from Sage Creek through
            Bridger's Pass, and thence down the Muddy Creek, I am
            inclined to believe that the road we traveled is much
            the best. It is said that Lieutenant Byran's route
            from Bridger's Pass to Green River has a scarcity of
            grass. The water is brackish, and the supply limited,
            and may fail altogether in a dry season. The road
            passes through deep valleys and canons, crossing
            muddy creeks and deep ravines. The creeks have been
            bridged and the ravines cut down so as to form a
            practicable road; but freshets will probably occur in
            the spring, which will destroy a great deal of the
            work, and may render the road impassable.--Lieutenant
            Duane's Notes.
  The other road is for the greater part of the distance smooth,
and has a sufficiency of grass is places, but the water may
become scarce in a very dry season.

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