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US Mormon Battalion Trail Award for Scouts

White Mountain.jpg

Sponsoring Council

San Diego - Imperial

Award Dimensions

3'' x 4''


Take an overnight backpack of at least 15 miles or 7½ hours scheduled backpack time along the original Trail of the Mormon Battalion.

Map Link (where applicable)

External Reference (where applicable)

Detailed Requirements



1. History of the Mormon Battalion Trail 

a. Read a History of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War (see Bibliography on pg. 12 of Trek Aid #107) 

b. Discuss with Scoutmaster, Advisor or with Counselor appointed by Scoutmaster, the History emphasizing: 

  • What was the Mormon Battalion and what was its dual mission? 

  • What was the approximate size of the Mormon Battalion at three points in its history: departure from Ft. Leavenworth, departure from Santa Fe, and arrival at San Diego. What was the cause for the difference in size at these three points? 

  • Recruitment of the Battalion. 

  • Crossing of both Pawnee Forks and the Colorado River 

  • Forced marches under Colonel Smith. 

  • The "Battle of the Bulls", Tucson, Box Canyon, and the hardships crossing the deserts. 

  • Some of the daily distances covered and the length of time on the march. 

2. Visits to Memorials and Museums. 

a. Visit a Memorial dedicated to the Mormon Battalion. Where this is impractical due to excessive driving distances write to a Mormon Battalion Descendant's Society or a Mormon Battalion Memorial for information. 

b. Visit a Museum that displays artifacts of that era. NOTE: In San Diego County visit 2 of the following in "Old Town". 

  • The Mormon Battalion Memorial in Presidio Park. 

  • The Mormon Battalion Visitor's Center, 3510 San Juan Street. 

  • The Hazard Museum in the Sealy Stables. 

3. Rations of the Battalion. 

a. Describe the daily ration on the trail. 

b. Describe some of their water problems. 

c. The supper on the backpack shall be a typical trail supper of the Battalion both in type and in quantity. Beef Jerky may be substituted for dried mule meat and the supper may be cooked over a backpacker's chemical fuel stove where open fires/fuel gathering is prohibited. 

4. Take an overnight backpack of at least 15 miles or 7½ hours scheduled backpack time along the original Trail of the Mormon Battalion. All food, water, and equipment must be backpacked the entire distance. Where the original trail is closed to hikers, is not practical, or not safe to backpack, an alternate trail may be developed by the Council HAT working with the Mormon Committee on Scouting. Alternate trails must be approved in writing by the High Adventure Team of the Council in which they are located. 

NOTE: In San Diego County a section of the Trail is still open in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Recommend selecting a 15-mile backpack in that section of the Trail between HighwayS-2 Mile 27 mark northward toward the junction of Highways S-2 and S-22. Hike through Box Canyon across Blair Valley. Cross the ridge at "Foot and Walker Pass" and continue across the desert keeping to the east of the private property in Earthquake Valley. When past the private property, hike west to Highway S-2 and follow the west shoulder to Scissors Crossing (Highways S-2 and 78), and on north through San Felipe Pass. Camping is permitted almost everywhere in the Anza-Borrego State Park. CAUTION: Take Chemical Fuel Stoves as both fuel gathering and open fires are strictly prohibited. 

5. Comply with the General Requirements. Reference: Trek Aid #107, "U.S. Mormon Battalion Trail".

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