Register Cliff – Guernsey, Wyoming - Atlas Obscura

Register Cliff

Guernsey, Wyoming

Long before guestbooks and hotels, frontier travelers signed their names on this rock face. 


Located near what is now Guernsey, Wyoming on the Oregon Trail, Register Cliff was one of the most well-recognized and consistently visited landmarks on the long road West.

Today the sandstone cliff-face is cordoned by an iron fence, but in the 1800’s when over 500,000 emigrants used the Oregon Trail and its offshoots to settle Western America, the tall flat rock wall seemed like a perfect place to leave a mark. The cliff was one of three well-known “name rocks” where families and individuals would inscribe their name into the soft rock so that future generations (or simply following friends and family) would know that they had made it that far on what was at the time a shockingly deadly trail. Along with Independence Rock and Names Hill, Register Cliff offers a unique living record of the names and lives of those that braved the American wilderness and those that were lost to it. 

Know Before You Go

Register Cliff is located just outside the city of Guernsey, and directions to the site are well-marked. It is owned by the state of Wyoming.Be aware that the site has been extensively vandalized. Names are still being added but at the cost of the obliteration of irreplaceable historic names. Please look but don't add your name.

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