Chimney rock was one of the most prevalent landmarks along the California Trail. Hundreds of thousands of people used this landmark to safely guide themselves on their journey to freedom and a better way of life, as they ventured along the California, Oregon, and the Mormon Trail.

Over 300 Feet Tall

Nestled off the beaten path, just a bit, is a very interesting looking geological rock formation that towers 300ft. tall. This thin piece juts upward from a rounded hut-like base bringing the vision of a chimney to one’s mind. Many of the folks that passed by called it Chimney Rock and it became one of the great California Trail Landmarks. It was taller when it was first seen, but has become shortened by lightning in 1992 and weather erosion over the years. This rock formation was called by many names over time, some of which are:

  • Chimney Rock
  • Chimney Tower
  • Elk Peak
  • Elk Brick

A Common Rest Stop

Chimney Rock is located near the North Platte River where many traveling parties would stop and rest. It gave them hope and direction for miles around when that was often just what was lacking in their journey.

Other Uses Of Chimney Rock

Some people who would have used this landmark were:

Mormon Pioneers who ventured along the California Trail and have written about the trials they endured. They were able to see Chimney Rock for miles before they ever arrived, making their journey just a little bit easier. Other travelers and settlers that stopped at Chimney Rock were fur trappers and traders, miners, and land seekers.

Visit The Center In Elko

Stop by the California Trail Interpretive Center in Elko, Nevada to learn more about Chimney Rock, and all the other impressive landmarks along the California Trail. This is a wonderful place to visit, and the visitors center is full of great information for all ages. There is something for everyone and every level of interest in history.

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