Carson River Route

Carson River Route -1848

Best Route to the Gold Fields

The Carson Route (or “Carson River Route”) was opened in 1848 from west to east by remnants of the Mormon Battalion who came to California in 1846 with the US Army to assist in the fight against Mexico.

Upon their discharge in 1847, many members of the Mormon Battalion went to work for John Sutter to earn money before their planned return to Salt Lake Valley the following year.

In the spring of 1848, a small group assembled just east of Placerville in a valley that one of the diarists wrote was a “Pleasant Valley”. This group departed Pleasant Valley and spent a night on a creek they named “Camp Creek.” They continued up the trail and spent two nights at Leek Springs on the nights of July 17 and 18, 1848.

They spent all day on July 18th clearing the ancient Indian trails they were following to make room for their 17 wagons.


The group, consisting of 45 men and one woman (Melissa Coray), came upon the recent grave of three of their scouts who had gone ahead to survey the trail.

Hope Valley

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