This station was not mentioned in the 1861 Overland Mail Contract. Located 6 miles from Sweetwater Pony Express Station and 6 miles from Plant’s Station.
The Pony Express Route and the Oregon Trail are the same through this part of Wyoming. Split Rock Station and Devil’s Gate Station are located one “Oregon Trail Day” apart.
Devil’s Gate, a 370′ high, 1500′ long cleft, carved over the centuries by the Sweetwater River, was a major landmark on the Oregon Trail. It provided a pleasant change for weary travelers coming across the rough, dry country from the North Platte River, a four day trek from the east.
According to Shoshone and Arapahoe legend a powerful evil spirit in the form of a tremendous beast with enormous tusks ravaged the Sweetwater Valley, preventing the Indians from hunting and camping. A prophet informed the tribes that the Great Spirit required them to destroy the beast. They launched an attack from the mountain passes and ravines, shooting countless arrows into the evil mass. The enraged beast, with a mighty upward thrust of its tusks, ripped a gap in the mountain and disappeared through Devil’s Gate, never to be seen again.
A couple of sources identify Devil's Gate as a station, however, Bishop and Henderson noted on their map that the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract did not list the site as part of the official route. Franzwa locates Devil's Gate Stage Station just south of the Devil's Gate rock formation. (NPS)