ABOVE: Chimney Rock over time.
Today, the spire stands 325 feet above the plain, but during the time of the migration, Chimney Rock was substantially higher. It was the most spectacular landmark on the entire trail. Many considered it the eighth wonder of the world.
In their enthusiasm, some tried to climb the massive rock but none got higher than the base.
Emigrant Joseph Hackney:
"This is the most remarkable object that I ever saw, and if situated in the states would be visited by persons from all parts of the world."
Emigrant Elisha Perkins:
"No conception can be formed of the magnitude of this grand work of nature til you stand at its base and look up. If a man does not feel like an insect, then I don't know when he should."
Not everyone was so enthusiastic.
Pioneer artist Charles Preuss:
"This afternoon we sighted at a distance, the so-called Chimney Rock. Nothing new otherwise. Oh, if there were a tavern here! Toward evening we reached Chimney Rock and camped opposite it."