Across the Humboldt Valley southward from this point a deeply incised canyon opens into a valley.  Through that canyon along the South Fork of the Humboldt River ran the disaster-laden route called the Hastings Cutoff.  It joined the regular Fort Hall route running on both sides of the Humboldt here.

The canyon was first traversed in 1841 by the Bartleson-Bidwell Party, the earliest organized California emigrant group.  In 1846, Lansford Hastings guided a party through this defile of the South Fork and out along the Humboldt.  The ill-fated Reed Donner Party followed later the same year.

By 1850, the dangers of the cutoff route were recognized and it was abandoned.