Hastings Cutoff – James Mathers – Weber Canyon Devils Gate
James Mathers recorded on August 2nd, 1846:
*2nd. Went down and examined the pass and found it to be impracticable for waggons to go thro’ although a number of men were at work removing all rocks that were not immovable and digging down the hills to make a way over — an exhibition of most consumate folly.
Marker H JM UT 1 by the Utah Crossroads Chapter – OCTA
This is part of the series of California Trail markers I’ve been documenting on these pages:
Devil’s Slide is an unusual geological formation located in Weber Canyon, Morgan County, Utah.
The sides of the slide are hard, weather-resistant limestone layers about 40 feet high, 25 feet apart, and several hundred feet in length. In between these two hard layers is a softer limestone that is slightly different in composition from the outer limestone layers. This middle layer is softer, which makes it more susceptible to weathering and erosion, thus forming the chute of the slide. Looking like a large playground slide fit only for the Devil, this site is a tilted remnant of sediments deposited in a sea that occupied Utah’s distant geologic past. Approximately 170 to 180 million years ago, a shallow sea originating from the north spread south and east over areas of what are now Montana, Wyoming, and Utah. This sea extended as far east as the present-day Colorado River and south into northern Arizona. Over millions of years, massive amounts of sediment accumulated and eventually formed layers of limestone and sandstone. In northern Utah, these rocks are known as the Twin Creek Formation and are approximately 2700 feet thick. About 75 million years ago, folding and faulting during a mountain- building episode tilted the Twin Creek rock layers to a near-vertical position. Subsequent erosion has exposed the near-vertical rock layers and created Devils Slide.*