Lee's Ferry: From Mormon Crossing to National Park
Place Published: Logan, UT
Publisher: Utah State University Press
Date Published: 1999
Edition: Later printing
Book Id: 2384
542pp. Octavo [23 cm] Illustrated wrappers. New.
The Colorado River and its deeply entrenched canyons create a lengthy barrier to travel in the interior West. Here and there, ancient Indian foot trails descend canyon walls and find access to the river, but one of the few places between California and Nevada where wheeled vehicles can approach it is at the mouth of the Pahreah River, between Glen Canyon and the river's steep drop toward Grand Canyon. Here, from the mid-19th until well into the 20th century, Lee's Ferry was a primary link between Utah and Arizona. Mormons trying to reach potential Indian converts and new lands for colonization to the south first developed the site. John D. Lee and parts of his family, seeking an inconspicuous spot after the Mountain Meadows massacre, first took up residence at what they called Lonely Dell. In subsequent decades, many interesting and important western characters passed through this topographical and historical funnel, from John Wesley Powell to Buffalo Bill. As river exploration and adventure increased, the place became as important to those using the river-surveyors, miners, river runners-as to folks crossing it. In recognition of its importance, Lee's Ferry has been partially restored as a historic site in the national park system.