EAST CANYON STATE PARK
East Canyon Reservoir is a 680-acre boating and year-round fishing delight nestled in the mountains northeast of Salt Lake City on state routes 65 and 66. Recreationists will find a wide concrete launching ramp, paved parking area, modern rest rooms, showers, fish cleaning station and 31-unit campground with a large overflow area. Two spacious, covered pavilions with electricity are available for groups. A concessionaire provides boat rentals and a refreshment stand.
East Canyon and the surrounding area are rich in pioneer history. The Donner Party, also called the Donner-Reed group, was a group of farmers from Iowa and Illinois going west to find fertile land for their crops. On their way to California, they passed through East Canyon in 1846, the first wagon train to pass through this way. Many obstacles, including high brush and rocky obstacles, slowed them down a great deal. Not realizing the harsh conditions they would encounter while on their trek, only 47 of the original 87 reached their destination.
One year after the Donner Party passed through East Canyon, Mormon pioneers followed that same trail, however, this time was much easier due to the trail work the Donner party had accomplished. Four days later, Brigham Young and his group of pioneers used this trail to get to the Salt Lake valley.
Many people used the Donner-Mormon route over the years, including the Overland Stage and the Pony Express.
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