Luther Pass Road

Carson River Route

Luther Pass Road -1854

This trail is a relatively short connecting route between the Carson Trail in Hope Valley and the Johnson Cutoff in Lake Valley near Lake Tahoe.

It was named for Ira Manley Luther who drove a wagon over the route in 1854 and left his name painted on a rock.

He originally named it Johnston Pass for General Albert Sidney Johnston, commanding general of the Utah Territory but it was changed to avoid confusion with Johnson’s summit.

Located in the eastern Sierra drainages of the Truckee and Carson rivers, it allowed travelers using the Carson River trail to connect to the Johnnson Cutoff and cross a pass at 7,749 feet elevation, about 2,000 feet lower than West Pass on the Carson Route.

In the 1860s, after much improvement, the road became a major route from California to the Comstock mines.