WY-006 Ice Slough

Marker text: Wyoming - Ice Slough - Ice Slough is a small stream that flows into the Sweetwater River five miles east of here. In front of this point is a slough (i.e. a marsh or shallow un-drained depression). This slough gave the name to the stream east of here. In the "Ice Slough" the marshes soils and plants insulated the previous winter's ice and it melted slowly throughout the summer. Under the marshes a thick mat of ice could be found late into June or early July. Westward bound immigrants would stop their wagons here for the purpose of breaking out chunks of ice to use in their drinks and to preserve meat. William Clayton's 1848 "Latter-Day Saints' Emigrants' Guide" called this the "ice spring" and wrote "This is in a low, swampy spot of land on the right side of the road. Ice may generally be found by digging down about two feet." in 1854 Alonzo Delano traveled up the valley of the Sweetwater. While not giving the exact location of where he stopped he wrote on June 20th "...About four o'clock in the afternoon, on the borders of a morass, perhaps a mile in length by a half mile in breadth. Some of the boys, thinking that water could be easily obtained took a spade, and going out on the wild grass, commenced digging. About a foot from the surface, instead of water, they struck a beautiful layer of ice, five of six inches in thickness." By late summer the ice had often disappeared. Today, due to a number of factors, the slough has nearly dried up and thus little ice forms here in the winter.

Today in Marker History


View more information