Valley contained three distinctive granite landmarks: Independence Rock,
Devilís Gate, and Split Rock. The last of these, Split Rock, had guided
travelers for decades before the emigrants arrived. The distinctive "gun
sight" notch in the Rattlesnake Range was visible to the emigrants
for the better part of two days. Rising some 1000 feet above the prairie,
Split Rock aimed the emigrants directly at South Pass, still more that 75
miles away. This regionís gentle landscape offered the emigrants a short,
but much needed, respite in their long journey.
Split Rock Station is located a short distance west of Split Rock between Cranner Rock and the south bank of the Sweetwater River in what is now a hay meadow. It served as a Pony Express station, stage station, and telegraph station in the early 1860s. A crude log structure and pole corral that were part of the station are now part of a private ranch homesite. Henry Herr tells us that, in 1862, 50 soldiers from the 6th Ohio Regiment were encamped here to protect the emigrants. Legend tells us that the soldiers built a tunnel between the post and the river so that they could get water without being seen by the Indians.
Travel west of Muddy
Gap Junction on US 287 for about eight miles to the Split Rock Rest Area
on the north side of the highway. Another 3.5 miles beyond the rest area
is an historical marker turnout for Split Rock. From here, you get a good
view of "gun sight" notch from the west