Select a different theme

After stopping at Fort Laramie, the emigrants cut over this ridge some 6.5 miles to the west, to return to the Platte River route. Descending the steep slope required the drivers to roughlock the wagons’ wheels. This kept the wagons from sliding into the ox teams. The deep ruts were caused by the sliding gait of the animals along with the locked, sliding, steel-rimmed wheels of the wagons. Clayton’s guidebook for emigrants advised: "The descent being over rock, and very steep, makes it dangerous to wagons, but it is not lengthy."

The hill got its name from Mexican artisans hired in 1841 by the American Fur Company to build the adobe trading post at Fort Laramie. Afterwards, the men settled permanently in this region, constructing an irrigation system to water the gardens where they grew a variety of produce to trade with the emigrants and soldiers who passed through this region.

National Park Service Comprehensive Management Plan
The NPS CMP lists the trail from Fort Laramie to Warm Springs as a high potential segment. "The trail remains virtually intact and continuous, except when crossed by pipelines and county roads, from the climb out of the Laramie River Valley to Mexican Hill. Huge swales are visible in places; the junctions of various branches are clearly visible where the Bluff and River routes join east of Mexican Hill."

Threats in this region are unknown. The site is not listed on the National Register.

Ownership
Public (Bureau of Land Management)

Directions
Platte County, T26N, R65W

Black Hills

Back Continue