Discover the Trails

Discover the Trails

The trails that crossed the California-Nevada Chapter took the emigrants on a dangerous
journey across deserts and over mountains to their destinations in California.

The Raft River-Humboldt River Route, California Trail, crossed Nevada with alternate cutoffs including the Greenhorn Cutoff, Bishop Creek Route, Hastings Cutoff and the Bidwell-Bartleson Route.

The Truckee Trail, opened in 1844, left the Humboldt Sink in Nevada and crossed the infamous 40 Mile Desert before climbing the Sierras and descending into the Sacramento Valley. The Nevada City Road soon became an alternate route at the western end of the trail. The Beckwourth Trail and the Henness Pass Trail left the Truckee Trail heading to the northern Sacramento Valley.

The 1848 Lassen trail branched off the Applegate Trail in northwest California and headed south. Later alternate routes off the Lassen Trail included the Burnett Cutoff, Yreka Trail, Nobles Trail and the Lockhart Wagon Road.

The Carson River Route, opened in 1848 by a remnant of the Mormon Battalion, left the Humboldt Sink and took a more southern route ending up in Sacramento. Eight other trails branched off the Carson Route with destinations from Auburn in the north to Sonora in the south. They included the Placer County Emigrant Road, the Georgetown Pack Trail, Johnson’s Cutoff, Luther Pass Road, Grizzly Flat Road, Volcano Road, Big Tree Road and the Walker River-Sonora Route.

Embark on a historic journey through the rugged terrain of California and Nevada. Discover the Applegate Trail, a path etched with the footsteps of pioneers seeking a new life in the West, offering a scenic route through valleys and mountains. Traverse the Truckee River Route, following the meandering waters of the Truckee River as it winds through the Sierra Nevada, offering breathtaking views along the way. Delve into the Carson River Route, where the untamed beauty of the Carson River Valley unfolds, showcasing diverse landscapes and rich wildlife habitats. Finally, explore the Raft River to Humboldt Sink, an expedition through the heart of the Great Basin, revealing the stark beauty and unique ecosystems of the region. Each trail offers a glimpse into the storied past and natural wonders of California and Nevada, inviting adventurers to immerse themselves in the spirit of exploration.

A Bonanza of Trails