Bidwell – Bartleson Route

Raft River to Humboldt Sink

Bidwell - Bartleson Route

This group consisted of 32 men, one woman and one girl.  It was the the first wagon emigrant party to cross the state of Utah and the first wagon/pack emigrant party to cross Nevada.
The Bidwell-Bartleson Party split off from an Oregon-bound party near Soda Springs, Idaho. Crossing present Utah and Nevada. They followed a route uniquely their own. Their trail was made up from portions of routes which had been used in the past by Peter Ogden (1828-1829), John Works (1831), and Joseph Walker (1833-1834), or routes which in the future would be used by others on the Hastings Cutoff and the California Emigrant Trail to the Humboldt and Carson Sinks.
This group of Emigrants traveled through Utah north of the Great Salt Lake, east of Pilot Mountain and made a stop at what is now Donner Springs before entering Nevada. After entering Nevada it was decided to abandon the rest of their wagons and rough pack outfits were made up to pack along the rest of their journey. Subsequent emigrant parties traveling the Hastings Cutoff in 1846 later came upon the remains of these abandoned Bidwell-Bartleson wagons.
September 17th, 1841 “… all were ready to start, horses, mules, and 4 oxen, packed. Proceeded south along the mts seeking a place to pass through.  At length an Indian trail took us across into a dry plain, ….” John Bidwell.
This crossing went over Little Lake Pass (Peqoup Range) from Goshute Valley to Independence Valley.
September 23rd, 1841 “… We could see no termination of the valley, nor any signs of Mary’s River. We therefore concluded that we were too far south, and passed over the mountains to the north, when we struck a small stream running toward the NW.…”.  John Bidwell.
This crossing went over Harrison Pass across the Humboldt Range.
On September 26th they started traveling along the Humboldt River.
Through various hardships the group eventually made it to Marsh’s Ranch, California in November 1841.
Thanks to Kevin Lee for the information on the Bidwell-Bartleson Route.