The Main Oregon Trail route (the main road to Fort Hall) and Hudspeth's Cutoff took about the same amount of time to travel as the emigrants eventually discovered. The cutoff had five mountain ranges but was more direct (straighter) than the main trail. Alexander Crater was a landmark for Hudspeth's Cutoff after leaving Soda Springs. Hudspeth's Cutoff was opened in July of 1849 and promoted as a faster and more direct route to City of Rocks, although it was only 25 miles shorter and saved no time. It was also harder because there wasn't as much water or grass along the cutoff, still many pioneers took it with high hopes. The route received heavy traffic from those traveling to the California gold fields. The the cutoff departs from the main trail in the vicinity of present day Soda Springs, Idaho.