A sharp eye can still pick out the marks of early railroad building along this rugged escarpment, even if the original iron rails and timber ties themselves are gone.
These fading remnants tell the story of a daunting engineering challenge—linking the Western states to the rest of the nation. Inscribed here, amid the sagebrush and bedrock of northern Utah is a tale of grand dreams and brute work, greed and glory.
(US Map Caption)
To join Utah and California to the eastern states meant laying track across 1,776 miles of deserts, mountains, and plains—a territory wider than all of Europe.
(Golden Spike NHS Map Caption)
The road west crosses old railroad grades five times before reaching the Last Spike Site, where the 1869 race to build the first transcontinental railroad ended. As you drive the five miles to the visitor center, keep looking for cuts, fills, and culverts alien to these open rangelands.