Select a different theme

The emigrants inscribed their names on a variety of "register rocks" all along the trails. These signatures served a number of purposes. Many emigrants inscribed their names for the simple purpose of declaring, to one and all, that they had made the trek. Others hoped their signatures would signal to family and friends behind them on the trail the date at which they had reached this point. Today, these signatures can still be found at a variety of trail locations.Register Cliff Register Cliff is one of the best remaining signature rocks on the trail.  It lies adjacent to an emigrant campground about one day’s trek west of Fort Laramie. Its soft sandstone continues to invite visitors to inscribe their names. Although a prominent visitor site today, no contemporaneous emigrant document has yet been found which references Register Cliff. Sandstone cliffs to the east and west of Register Cliff also contain many well-preserved emigrant signatures. The trail is visible a few yards below the cliff.

The most poignant signature on the rock today belongs to A. H. Unthank, a young ‘49er who died a week later and is buried in a marked grave outside Glenrock, Wyoming. Below the cliff, the graves of three emigrants, identity unknown, are protected by an iron fence. 

National Park Service Comprehensive Management Plan
Inscription on Register CliffProtective fencing has been placed around the most historically significant signatures. The interpretive material is old and outdated. The site is endangered by natural erosion as well as vandalism. National Guard activities to the west of Register Cliff also pose a potential threat to the site. The site is listed on the National Register.

Public (State of Wyoming) and adjacent private ownership.

Platte County, Wyoming. T26N/R65W
Directions to the site are well-marked by the city of Guernsey.

Back Continue