Georgetown Pack Trail

Carson River Route

Georgetown/Daggett Pass Pack Trail-Wagon Road

The Georgetown Pack Trail was opened in 1850.   It left the Carson Route in Carson Valley and ascended Dagget Pass (Kingsbury Grade) into what is now South Lake Tahoe.  Following today’s Pioneer Trail it climbed to the summit north of Echo Summit and then followed Highway 50 to Wright’s Road.  After climbing Wright’s Hill it crossed Onion Valley (Union Valley) and continued on to Georgetown.

In 1852, the Johnson Cutoff was established as a wagon road over much of the same  route from the Tahoe Valley to Peavine Ridge.  By 1857, the pack trail had become a wagon road that provided an alternative route to the valley and mines in Placer and Nevada counties.

With improvements it became a wagon road taking emigrants to the rich mines at Georgetown.

Sacramento Daily Union    November 30, 1857

El Dorado County Correspondence

A New Road from Georgetown, to intersect the Johnson Cutoff – Its Feasibleness- The Route Indicated – Importance of the Road – Good Grass  and Water – Best Road to Sacramento – The Carson Valley Road

General Land Office Survey  (GLO)  1877

This shows the Georgetown Road leaving the Old County Road along the North Fork of the American River and following the route of the Johnson Cutoff up Wright’s Hill before heading west to Georgetown.

Georgetown, Nov. 27, 1857

Editors Union: A party of gentlemen have just returned from the mountains, whose business it was to look out a good way for a road from this place, to intersect the Johnson road from Placerville to Carson Valley.  ….. The distance from Georgetown to the point where it will intersect the Johnson road, will be about fifty miles; thirty miles of which is a good wagon road at present.  Its course from here is directly east, varying only a mile or two the entire distance, passing the Clipper Sawmill, Works’ Ranch, Balsam Grove, thence up the divide between Pilot and Little Silver creeks, to a depression in the hills west of Union Valley; thence across the north branch of Silver Creek at an excellent ford, thence through a depression of the hills at Union Valley, entering the valley near the old ford, thence up the divide between the main streams on Silver Creek, or the forks known as the main creek, and the south fork, to a cabin; thence up the divide to the Johnson road, near Silver Creek.  …..

This road is one of much more importance than most people apprehend, both to the people who immigrate overland, and to the State and northern portion of El Dorado county especially.