At the Weber River they found a note from their guide telling them to turn south and cut a road over the mountain, in the sarcastic words of Reed's journal, "instead of the canyon which is impassible although 60 wagons passed through." They camped there four days while Reed rode down the Weber to find Hastings and obtain better guidance. Hastings was guiding two other trains and declined to go back. However, he gave specific instructions on the trail he had used two months earlier.
It was now 10 August and the new way looked shorter and less troublesome. But instead of three days fighting over the Weber Canyon boulders, they spent twelve cutting a road through brush and timber into the Salt Lake Valley.
Moving swiftly South of the Great Salt Lake, they paused one day to take on water and grass, then plunged into the Great Salt Lake Desert on 30 August. Driving day and night, they dared not stop. But the ground was evidently softer than it had been for the preceding companies. The crossing took six days rather than the two predicted by Hastings. Four of their wagons and many of the animals were lost.