From 1846 to 1869 tens of thousands of Mormons blazed a trail from Illinois to Utah. The Mormon pioneers made one of the most significant migrations in American History. The completed journey from Nauvoo, Illinois to the Great Salt Lake Valley covered a distance of 1,200 miles. On their way to Utah, the "Saints," as they called themselves, crossed the southern portion of Iowa leaving a lasting influence on the area's cultural history. The Mormons braved the hazardous journey, and in doing so they opened new lands for settlement.