The location of the park is where, on July 24, 1847, Brigham Young first saw the Salt Lake Valley that would soon become the Mormon pioneers’ new home. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that Young had a vision shortly after they were exiled from Nauvoo, Illinois. In the vision, he saw the place where the Latter-day Saints would settle and “make the desert blossom like a rose” and where they would build their State of Deseret. As the account goes, Brigham Young was very sick with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and was riding in the back of a wagon. After exiting Emigration Canyon and cresting a small hill, he asked to look out of the wagon. Those with him opened the canvas cover and propped him up so he could see the empty desert valley below. He then proclaimed, “It is enough. This is the right place. Drive on.” The words, “this is the place,” were soon heard throughout the wagon train as the Mormon pioneers descended into the valley, their long journey having come to an end. The statement was first attributed to Young by Wilford Woodruff more than thirty years after the pioneer advent.
Over the next several years, tens of thousands of Mormon pioneers emerged from Emigration Canyon and first saw their new home from this same location. A Utah state holiday, Pioneer Day, occurs each year on July 24 to commemorate the Mormon pioneers’ entry into the valley.