History of La Sal Mountains, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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The earliest Euro-American name comes from the Spanish, who called it Sierra de la Sal, or "Mountain of the Salt." Frays Silvestre Velez de Escalante and Francisco Atanasio Dominguez passed by the mountain in 1776, mentioning in their diary that it was "so called for there being salt beds next to it from which . . . the Yutas hereabouts provide themselves." Highway 1919 follows the general path of the old Spanish Trail as it makes its way through Spanish Valley where caravans of traders used to camp on Mill and Pack creeks before venturing across the Colorado River.

The first Anglo-American settlers of the area were Mormons, who formed the Elk Mountain Mission (1855) at present-day Moab because of the availability of water and timber there. Their settlement had lasted less than a year when neighboring Utes destroyed their fort and drove them back to the Wasatch Front. Other settlers followed in the late 1870s. Many of them were Mormons, but unlike the previous group, they were not officially called but rather drifted east from Sevier and Sanpete counties in search of resources. There was also a substantial population of non-Mormons who came from the mining and livestock industries of Colorado.


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