See what the pioneers thought, felt as they first came to the Salt Lake Valley (20 items)

By Deseret News

The first company of Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley at the end of July 1847, blazing — and sometimes quite literally building — the trail for thousands of pioneers to follow.

Many of the pioneers who came to Salt Lake recorded their first impressions of the area in journals and personal histories, noting (among other things) the "many great black crickets," "the Great Salt Lake glittering in the sun in the distance," the "many mosquitos," and the thick grass, beautiful streams, hot springs and serious lack of timber.

See the Salt Lake Valley through the eyes of the pioneers who entered it on July 24, 1847, as well as the pioneers who came before and followed after.

Related: The ultimate Pioneer Day challenge: Test your knowledge of Utah's heritage

Related: A photographic look back at the Days of '47 Parade, from 1864 to 2013

Related: A photographic look at how Days of '47 floats have changed — or not — from 1897 to 2013

Related: From Kings Peak to Bryce Canyon, meet 26 of the faces behind Utah places

1 of 20.

"I am going to stop right here. I am going to build a city here. I am going to build a temple here, and I am going to build up a country here.'"

Brigham Young to Samuel Brannan

2 of 20.

"After issuing from the mountains among which we had been shut up for many days, and beholding in a moment such an extensive scenery open before us, we could not refrain from a shout of joy which almost involuntarily escaped from our lips the moment this grand and lovely scenery was within our view."

Orson Pratt

3 of 20.

"Thus ends this long and tedious journey from the lands of our enemies, and I feel free and happy that I have escaped from their midst. But there is many a desolate and sandy plain to cross, many a rugged sage bed to break through, any a hill and hollow to tug over and many a mountain and canyon to pass, and many frosty nights to endure in mid-summer."

Hosea Stout

4 of 20.

"We had to pass through a canyon that was full of timber, mostly maple of a small growth, and the mountains came almost together at the bottom. But when we got through, it seemed like bursting from the confines of a prison. We came (in) full view of the S.E. part of the Great Salt Lake that we had been so long looking for."

Levi Jackman

5 of 20.

"I must say the hardships and privations of that journey were a pleasure to me. We felt willing to brave danger and deny ourselves of the pleasures and comforts of civilization if it was possible that we might find or gain a resting place where we could worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience in peace."

Jacob Weiler
1. Anchovey
Provo, UT,
July 24, 2014

What great people! Their expressions, in seeing the valley in the tops of the mountains, are poetic and faith filled...They have left worthy footprints to follow. Love the pioneers and July in Utah!

2. Julie gluten free mother
July 24, 2014

As I sit in my cool and comfortable house waiting to leave in my air conditioned car to drive to a nice cool movie theater I appreciate the moment to remember the pioneers and all they suffered. Some people consider Utah the laughing stock of the country due to it's strange liquor laws etc. But the state is here because people with strong beliefs settled the state and have descendants with the same beliefs. I am proud to be part of a state the rest of the country mocks. We are a state where people are willing to run for office and fight to keep our laws. We are a state where people take the time to vote for those men and women. I see comments from people complaining and always suggest they run for office and work to get people to vote for them. You get what you work for. I love this state.

3. BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA,
July 24, 2015

Let's remember to thank the earlier Donner Party for cutting a path for Wagons down Emigration Canyon. Otherwise we would be celebrating Pioneer day in Mid-August rather than Late July.