After the brackish water along Rock Avenue, Willow Springs was a delight for the thirsty travelers. Its sparkling cold water turned this area into the emigrantsí favorite camping site between the North Platte and Independence Rock. A hard crust of saleratus ringed the springs. When traffic got particularly heavy, additional springs about one mile up a draw accommodated the overflow from the lower springs near the trail.
Unfortunately, it was a long push to Willow Springs from the North Platte and, with its popularity, emigrants frequently found almost no forage in the area. This led some to advise that emigrants camp just short of or just beyond the springs for better grass. Willow Springs, with a "small rough structure with no corral," also served as a home and relay station for the Pony Express.
From here, trail ruts can be seen ascending Prospect (Ryan) Hill.
Click on the Photograph
for historic Journal entries relating to this area.
Natrona County, Wyoming. T31N/R83W
Approximately 8.5 miles southwest of Rock Avenue on County Road 319.