Ash Hollow State Park
Ash Hollow, named because of the Ash Trees that thrive here, was a popular stop for weary Oregon Trail travelers. After the steep and dangerous descent down Windlass Hill, the travelers would stop here to rest, repair wagons and equipment, and enjoy the fresh spring water.
This is Windlass Hill. The legend states that the hill was so steep that wagons had to be lowered down it's steep slopes using a windlass (a device kind of like a winch but a little different). No evidence has been found to support this legend. However, it is true that the hill was steep enough that some wagons had to be eased down it with oxen pulling from the back, or with locked brakes. Regardless, it was not an easy descent.
This gully was made but the wagon trains that came down Windlass Hill. The multitude of wagons passing over the same spot cut deep ruts in the side of the hill. Over the years the weather has eroded the origional ruts into this deep gully.