Emigration Canyon was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961. It is significant in Utah history as the original route used by pioneers entering Utah. It was part of the Hastings Cutoff route used by the Donner Party in 1846, and where the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. As Brigham Young looked over the canyon, he declared, “This is the right place. Drive on.” These words have become famous in Utah history. The event is commemorated with This Is The Place Heritage Park at the mouth of the canyon. Throughout Emigration Canyon, there are several historic markers designating camps, trail markers and milestone where the Mormon Pioneers passed while on their way to the Salt Lake Valley. One example of these milestones is called Lost Creek Camp.
Emigration Canyon is home to Emigration Township.