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Journal of Jedediah Smith: First Expedition to California

The Salt Cave

Having stayed at the mouth of __ creek 2 days I started on down the river accompanied by my two guides when I was opposite the cave I turned off to the right across a level piece of ground about 1/2 mile to the foot of a hill which appears to be two or three mile long and 100 or 150 feet high its course being about parallel with the River which is here running S E or E S E. Ascending from the foot of the hill 80 or 90 feet I arrived at the entrance of the cave which is about 15 feet high and the same width gradually close as I advanced to 4 feet in width and 10 feet in heighth where it was quite difficult of descent for a short distance perhaps ten feet where you arrive on a floor the room then opens to about 15 or 18 feet in width 25 or 30 feet in length and 20 feet in heighth. The Roof sides and floor of solid rock salt. I had brought an axe for the purpose of examining it and on breaking it found it generally pure But in places a few dark veins. after satisfying my curiosity I proceeded onwards a few miles and encamped.

Photo of mountain described by Jedediah Smith
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