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Photos courtesy of Mike Sinnwell April 2013.

Independence Rock Wyoming

Rock of ages, okay not really but it is old and so are the inscriptions.  As early as 1842, fur trapper Rufus B. Sage noted that "the surface is covered with names of travelers, traders, trappers, and emigrants, engraved upon it in almost every practicable part”. It is because of the smoother surface that the pioneers were able to easily carve their names into the rock.

This landmark on the emigrant trail has some disagreement about how the rock got its name. Some say it is because the emigrants needed to be here no later than July 4th, , Independence Day, to make it the rest of the way before winter came. Others say it got its name from fur trappers and traders who camped here on July 4, 1824. I believe the later.

This Register of the Desert has names carved in it and painted on it using wagon grease, tar or a combination of buffalo grease and glue.

Don’t forget to climb to the top to see some of the best carvings. A walk around the rock, like I did, will give you a hike of a little over a mile.