“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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California Trail Historical Markers

This Trail carried people to California following the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill. Westward to western Wyoming it shares much of its route with the Pony Express Trail, the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Pioneer Trail, and the Union Pacific route of the Transcontinental Railroad. This series includes California Road markers that highlight the southern routes from Arkansas through Indian Territory westward to the California gold fields.
The Old Spanish Trail Marker image, Touch for more information
By Bill Kirchner, August 29, 2011
The Old Spanish Trail Marker
1 Arizona, Mohave County, Littlefield — 121 — The Old Spanish Trail1829 - 1848
The Old Spanish Trail, the main trade route between Santa Fe and Los Angeles, passed this way beginning in 1829. At the end of the Mexican-American War this portion of the route evolved into what was variously known as the Salt Lake Road, the . . . Map (db m78535) HM
2 Arkansas, Sebastian County, Fort Smith — A-33 — Sebastian County California Gold Seekers
The emigrant train of Forty-Niners, 5,000 strong, set out from Fort Smith in April, 1849, with an escort of United States [Army] Regulars under the command of Captain R. B. Marcy.Map (db m92353) HM
3 California, Alpine County, Alpine Village — CR-39 — Carson Trail - Crooked Trail
"A part of the way the rocks cover the ground so large that it is with the greatest difficulty that we can find a place to drive our waggons [sic] through the trail is quite crooked" - Amasa Morgan, Jul 24, 1849Map (db m211141) HM
4 California, Alpine County, Alpine Village — CR-38 — Carson Trail - First Crossing in Mad Canyon
"The river here is…filled with large rocks. We crossed on a bridge but expect to ford the next times…We started through Mad Canyon which is rightly named…the hardest place for teams I ever saw" - Caroline L. Richardson, Sep 12, 1852Map (db m211142) HM
5 California, Alpine County, Alpine Village — CR-37 — Carson Trail - To West Carson Canyon
"Thence over a high sloping stony hill (sloping to the river) and down a steep hill to a canon or pass creek, where comes the first tug of war! Through the first range of the Sierra Nevada mountains" - Giles S. Isham, Aug 5, 1850Map (db m211139) HM
6 California, Alpine County, Hope Valley — Over the Sierra Nevada
The Carson River Route saw more wagon travel during the peak of the Gold Rush than any other emigrant trail. Most of these were Gold seekers headed for the diggings in Placerville, Volcano, Jackson, and Sutter Creek. In 1855, the California State . . . Map (db m211982) HM
7 California, Alpine County, Kirkwood — CR-43 — Carson Trail - Ascent to Carson Pass
Front of Marker "After dinner we crossed the first mountain. The ascent is half a mile and much like going up the side of a house in steepness. With hughe stones in the road, aside the road and all around the road."- Henry Sheldon Anable, . . . Map (db m148705) HM
8 California, Alpine County, Kirkwood — First Summit
Below this ridge is what some pioneers dubbed the “Devils Ladder.” A name reflecting the steepness and extreme difficulty that pioneers experienced as they began their ascent over the Sierra Nevada. This climb was usually referred to as . . . Map (db m21284) HM
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9 California, Alpine County, Kirkwood — Naming of Carson Pass
In February of 1844, John C. Fremont led a group of men over these mountains as they struggled to reach Sutter’s Fort. Little did they know that the pass, which lay 20 to 30 feet under the snow beneath them, would be a major route for the Gold Rush . . . Map (db m21278) HM
10 California, Alpine County, Meyers — LP-3 — Luther Pass Trail - Came to Grass Lake
"Passed over the summit of the first range and came to [Grass] lake situated nearly on the summit of the mountain....We began our decent [sic] down the mountain over as rough a road as we came up, into Lake Valley" - Luman A. Scott, Sep 8, 1859Map (db m212025) HM
11 California, Alpine County, Meyers — LP-2 — Luther Pass Trail - Luther Pass
"Then up hill [from Hope Valley] and away, steep and rugged and we at last gain the first summit of the Nevada Mountains [at Luther Pass] and down t'other side more rugged than ever" - John McTurk Gibson, Sep 3 1859...Map (db m212003) HM
12 California, Alpine County, Picketts Junction — CR-40 — Carson Trail - Hope Valley
"We immerged [sic] from the canon [sic] into a pretty valley in between two ranges of high mountains. Pretty pine trees were scattered over a small grass lawn, and a beautiful mountain stream passed through it." - Lorena L. Hayes, Sep . . . Map (db m211992) HM
13 California, Alpine County, Picketts Junction — C.R.R.27 — Emigrant Trail - Carson River Route
Marker No. C.R.R.27 - Hope Valley Emigrants rested in this beautiful valley on their way to Carson Pass.Map (db m212001) HM
14 California, Alpine County, Picketts Junction — LP-1 — Luther Pass Trail - Leaving the Carson Trail
"We crossed Carson River, for here we leave the Carson Route and take what is called the Johnson Route or 'Johnson's Cut-Off to Hangtown'." - J. Robert Brown, Sep 25, 1856Map (db m211987) HM
15 California, Amador County, Kit Carson — Mormon-Carson Pass Emigrant Trail
Mormon-Carson Pass Emigrant Trail, the heavily-travelled gateway to California gold fields, was blazed in 1848 by discharged members of the Mormon battalion traveling east to join their families. Five hundred Mormon volunteers, recruited in . . . Map (db m10824) HM
16 California, Butte County, Berry Creek — B047 — Beckwourth Trail – Berry Creek
“We left here at half past four intending to go as far as Bidwell Bar. We passed on a bridge which crosses a pond made by damming a stream for the purpose of running (a) sawmill which is situated here” – James Woodworth, Aug. 19, . . . Map (db m61682) HM
17 California, El Dorado County, Fresh Pond — JC-24 — Johnson Cutoff - Fresh Pond
"Camping place called [Fresh] Pond at foot of Junction Hill, very long and steep." John McTurk Gibson, Sep 7, 1859 "We got some whisky [sic] for the cattle and drank it ourselves. It is the first I have had" - John W. Powell, Sep 7, 1859Map (db m212408) HM
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18 California, El Dorado County, Placerville — CR-69 — Carson Trail - Placerville
"This is called 'Dry Diggins'...More gold has been raised (here) than in any other part of California. Here we made a final stop and unloaded our wagons & felt of a truth that we had at last reached the gold mines." - P. C. Tiffany, Aug 25, 1849Map (db m212359) HM
19 California, El Dorado County, Placerville — CR-66 — Carson Trail - Wagon Road to Placerville
"We decided to head for Placerville and cast out lot digging gold, and we expect to pass into this place to night....We passed...a good many cradling out gold, and we are all very enthusiastic to get started" - Albert G. Paschal, Aug 18, 1859Map (db m211225) HM
20 California, El Dorado County, Placerville — CR-67 — Carson Trail - Wagon Road to Placerville
"Entered Pleasant Valley in which are established several trading posts....We moved on and...descended into a valley in which is situated a few log huts & 1 tavern. This place is named Ring(g)old." James G. Shields, Aug 13, 1850Map (db m211169) HM
21 California, El Dorado County, Placerville — JC-30 — Johnson Cutoff Trail - Placerville
"We have come four miles and come to a flourishing little town in the mountains. The original name of this town is Placerville.... Men are diging [sic] here in the middle of the streets in search of gold." - William H. Kilgore. Aug 5, 1850Map (db m212362) HM
22 California, El Dorado County, Pleasant Valley — CR-64 — Carson Trail - Descent to Pleasant Valley
"After descending from this ridge by a long twilight entered on as beautiful a valley as ever I laid eyes on called Pleasant Valley." - Peter Decker, Aug 7, 1849Map (db m211152) HM
23 California, El Dorado County, Pleasant Valley — CR-63 — Carson Trail - Pleasant Valley
"We reached what in our guide book was called 'Pleasant Valley Gold Mines'; where we found two or three tents, and a few men with their gold-washing pans." - Sarah Royce. Oct 24, 1849Map (db m210982) HM
24 California, El Dorado County, Pleasant Valley — CR-65 — Carson Trail - Wagon Road Junction
"Came on the forks of the road - the left hand leading to Sutters Fort & the right hand to...Coloma...We here took the right hand fork and went...through Wevervill (and) came on...farther to Hang Town" - James A. Pritchard, Aug 11, 1849Map (db m211151) HM
25 California, El Dorado County, Pollock Pines — CR-61 — Carson Trail - Junction
"We moved where the roads forked...the left hand road leads to Weberville & the right leads to Hangtown or Placerville. We concluded to take the left hand road, now we commence a gradual descent." - James G. Shields, Aug 12, 1850Map (db m212434) HM
26 California, El Dorado County, Pollock Pines — CR-62 — Carson Trail - To Pleasant Valley
Carson Trail - To Pleasant Valley "Continued down the ridge upon which we traveled day before yesterday, occasionally descending deep valleys.... We reached what the Mormons call 'Pleasant Valley Gold Diggins.'" - P. C. Tiffany, Aug 24, 1849Map (db m211067) HM
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27 California, El Dorado County, Pollock Pines — JC-25 — Cutoff to Johnson Ranch and Placerville
Cutoff to Johnson Ranch and Placerville "Came...up to the forks of the road, one goes to Placerville and one to Weaver Town (Weberville), took our right hand road to Placerville or Hang Town, and came to what is called Johnson's ranch" . . . Map (db m212436) HM
28 California, El Dorado County, Pollock Pines — JC-14 — Johnson Cutoff - Ascent to the Summit
"We now had to go up an ascent of four or five miles. The road would run along the side of the mountain, and then turn square up for a short distance. In this way we passed over many dangerous places" - J. Robert Brown, Sep 26, 1856Map (db m212531) HM
29 California, El Dorado County, Pollock Pines — JC-23 — Johnson Cutoff - Bartlett Bridge
"Traveled to the South Fork, here is a trading post and bridge, they charged 50˘ for a man and a horse,...we would not pay toll but forded, verry [sic] bad ford, went up a long mountain through the brush" - William Perry Hampton, Sep 13, 1852Map (db m212509) HM
30 California, El Dorado County, Pollock Pines — JC-17 — Johnson Cutoff - Peavine Hill
"We came to what is called Peavine Hill, and found a long steep descent, but we got down without difficulty, and nooned near an excellent spring (Granite Springs)" J. Robert Brown, Sep 30, 1856Map (db m212527) HM
31 California, El Dorado County, Pollock Pines — JC-19 — Johnson Cutoff - Peavine Ridge
"We came on over a ridge or backbone; the road is now much traveled, and is very dusty; the earth is very red and dry; the road is well worked here, for they haul much ice along here to Hangtown." - J. Robert Brown, Oct 2, 1856Map (db m212524) HM
32 California, El Dorado County, Pollock Pines — JC-18 — Johnson Cutoff - Sear's Post
"The scenery is magnificent but it would be some task to come over these mountains with wagons. We saw any amount of grizzly bear tracks today." - George Washington King, June 6, 1853Map (db m212523) HM
33 California, El Dorado County, Pollock Pines — JC-26 — Johnson Cutoff - Took the Hangtown Road
"To the fork of the road leading to Wever Town & Hangtown here we took the Hangtown Road it being the best thence to water on the left of road. Good grass one mile to right of road." Seth Lewelling, Aug 3, 1850Map (db m212440) HM
34 California, El Dorado County, Pollock Pines — JC-27 — Johnson Cutoff Trail - Sportsman Hall
"Started over the mountains again. Drove...over the [most] dusty roads we have ever saw since we left home. Camped about 6 in the evening at the Sportsmans Hall." - Abbey E. Fulkerth, Aug 3, 1863Map (db m212443) HM
35 California, El Dorado County, South Lake Tahoe — JC-10 — Johnson Cutoff - Ascent of Johnson Pass
"It took fifty men of us and all the oxen we could hitch to the wagons to take thirteen wagons up in two days. It takes all the men...and four yoke oxen to move an empty wagon...It is just like climbing a tree only worse." - William Gobin, Oct 1852Map (db m212031) HM
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36 California, El Dorado County, South Lake Tahoe — JC-9 — Johnson Cutoff - Trout Creek
"Started at 2 P.M. down through [Lake] valley for 6 miles and campt near a small stream here we saw 2 men just commencing to mine gold just found here...Road very good this afternoon" - William Wirt Gilbert, Sep 26, 1853Map (db m212407) HM
37 California, El Dorado County, South Lake Tahoe — LP-4 — Luther Pass Trail - Enter Lake Valley
"After passing over this summit [Luther Pass] we enter Lake Valley [Lake Tahoe Basin]. Here we are camped, grass scarce. We had the roughest road down the mountain I ever saw." - John W. Powell, Sep 3, 1859Map (db m212026) HM
38 California, El Dorado County, South Lake Tahoe — LP-5 — Luther Pass Trail - Prepared for the Ascent
"We now prepared for the ascent of the mountain, we put all the oxen to one wagon, and started....The road is very steep in places, and runs up and along and around the side of the mountain" - J. Robert Brown, Sep 27, 1856Map (db m212028) HM
39 California, Lassen County, Chilcoot-Vinton — B-7 — Beckwourth Trail - Long Valley
"We descended in to the head of a beautiful valley here we found things requisite for camping ... our road led immediately down the valley from camp ... with a good level road all the way." - John C. Thorniley, Aug 16-17, 1852Map (db m148331) HM
40 California, Lassen County, Litchfield — N-26 — Nobles Trail - Soldiers Bridge
. . . Map (db m112609) HM
41 California, Lassen County, Old Station — N-36 — Nobles Trail - Butte Creek Meadow
"Day pleasant. Road has been excellent ... Has led us through beautiful glades and plains ... Tonight we camped at 'Butte Creek' a fine little stream with abundance." Benjamin Franklin Ruggles, Aug 15, 1859Map (db m148737) HM
42 California, Lassen County, Old Station — N-34 — Nobles Trail - Dry Valley
"Thence northwest winding westward through some timber into a dry valley, some grass near the west end of the valley ... here we camped some grass wood plenty but no water, having water in our keg." J. D. Randall, Aug 24, 1852Map (db m148185) HM
43 California, Lassen County, Susanville — N-28 — Nobles Trail - Big Spring
"10 ms. from the...head (of) Susan Valley you will find an excellent spring 150 yds. south of the road; but little grass here; grass is scarce on this ridge." J. D. Randall, Aug 23, 1852Map (db m148177) HM
44 California, Lassen County, Susanville — N-30 — Nobles Trail - Bridge Creek
"This is a fine valley and has the purest and coldest water a man ever drank ... I think this is the most pleasant camping place we have had, fine pine timbers ... Found the grave of Nancy Allen today." Gorham Gates Kimball, Jun 23, 1865Map (db m148179) HM
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45 California, Lassen County, Susanville — N-29 — Nobles Trail - First Nobles Pass
"We have risen to a considerable heighth [sic] today, though our road has been up and down. We are now crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains by 'Nobles Pass' said to be the easiest pass of three" Benjamin Franklin Ruggles, Aug 13, 1859Map (db m148178) HM
46 California, Lassen County, Susanville — N-26 — Nobles Trail - Rooptown
"This is a village of about 20 houses nearly all of which were built this summer. (It) is situated at the head of the valley... there is a hotel, store, blacksmith shop and... a saw-mill not far away." - Allen J. Tyrrell, Sep 8, 1860 . . . Map (db m87785) HM
47 California, Lassen County, Westwood — L - 38 — Lassen Trail - Westwood
The east branch of Lassen’s Trail (1848 & later) passed near here to a campsite “near a small lake fed by springs,”Map (db m56709) HM
48 California, Modoc County, Alturas — L-3 — Lassen Trail - Conical Rocks
“Striking the river this morning I noticed a cluster of singular shaped rocks sticking up in spires of a conical shape 20 to 30 feet high” - Andrew Lopp Murphy, Sep 26, 1849Map (db m113025) HM
49 California, Modoc County, Alturas — L-5 — Lassen Trail - Pit River Ford
“We crossed the creek here running between high banks, and drove a short distance down the north west side and encamped” — Elijah Preston Howell, Sep 6, 1849Map (db m113037)
50 California, Modoc County, Canby — L-10 — Lassen Trail - Foot Wear
“My shoes are giving out and I have no others. Left one of them and the other is barely on...At our noon camp I made some moccasins of cloth” — Joseph Stuart, Sep. 28, 1849Map (db m113024) HM
51 California, Modoc County, Canby — L-11 — Lassen Trail - Pit River Canyon
"We were obliged to cross the stream quite a number of times, in consequence of the canons of rock which confine it to a narrow bed." - Amos Batchelder, Sep 29, 1849 Guidebook available Trails West Inc., P.O. Box 12045, Reno, NV 89510 . . . Map (db m113659) HM
52 California, Modoc County, Davis Creek — Applegate TrailPart of the Oregon Trail National Historic Trail System
This is the location of the junction of the original 1846 route of the Applegate Trail and the 1853 realignment of the trail as laid out by road engineers from Siskiyou County. The original route goes due east from this point and its traces are no . . . Map (db m152261) HM
53 California, Modoc County, Davis Creek — Applegate TrailA portion of the Oregon Trail National Historic Trail System
The 1846 Applegate Trail, also known as the South Road to Oregon, lies behind this sign and heads westward along the banks of Fletcher Creek. It leaves Fletcher Creek after about two miles and then swings around the southern flank of Blue Mountain. . . . Map (db m152283) HM
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54 California, Modoc County, Davis Creek — A-33 — Applegate Trail - Davis Creek
... Decent [sic] to the lake ... Night brought us to the end of the lake ... We laid up on a mountain brook where the roads forked ... One branch going to Oregon, the other to California." Alonzo Delano, August 28, 1849Map (db m147424) HM
55 California, Modoc County, Davis Creek — A-32 — Applegate Trail - Descent to Goose Lake
"Traveled ... to Goose Lake. The descent ... is sidling and dangers. While we were nooning here 2 wagons of other trains were upset and mashed to atoms" - Simon Doyle, Sep 19 1849 Guidebook available Trails West Inc., P.O. Box 12045, . . . Map (db m87849) HM
56 California, Modoc County, Davis Creek — A-31 — Applegate Trail - Descent to Lassen Creek
"Four miles to a beautiful little stream of pure cold water coming from the mountains to our left and emptying into Goose Lake ... Camped there ...Found plenty of ripe plums on the neighboring mountain sides." - Andrew Murphy, Sep 23, 1849Map (db m147338) HM
57 California, Modoc County, Davis Creek — A-33 — Applegate Trail - New Road to Yreka
"We leave the old Lawson Road for the new road to Shasta Valley (Yreka) to day It seems as if the road is one stone pile We have to goe a foot in such places for fear of getting our heads nocked off" Sophroni Helen Stone, Sep 13 1852 . . . Map (db m87850) HM
58 California, Modoc County, Davis Creek — A-37 — South Road - Applegate Trail
. . . Map (db m152266) HM
59 California, Modoc County, Davis Creek — A-39 — South Road - Blazed Pine Tree
. . . Map (db m152279) HM
60 California, Modoc County, Davis Creek — A-35 — South Road - Devil's Garden
. . . Map (db m152255) HM
61 California, Modoc County, Davis Creek — A-36 — South Road - Fletcher Creek
. . . Map (db m152262) HM
62 California, Modoc County, Davis Creek — A-34 — South Road - McGinty Creek
. . . Map (db m152254) HM
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63 California, Modoc County, Fort Bidwell — A-28A — Applegate Trail - Fandango Pass Ascent
"We arrived at the foot of the summit ridge, the top of which lay one mile distant ... Up we ascended, slowly but surely, by the toilsome climbing of the teams and by lifting of the members. ... at the wheels." - William Swain, Oct 11, 1849Map (db m147406) HM
64 California, Modoc County, Fort Bidwell — A-28B — Applegate Trail - Fandango Pass Descent
"Passing over the summit, which is a very narrow ridge, a broad,deep valley ... presented itself to our view, far below us ... We immediately descended the mountain, which on this side, is fearfully steep" - Amos Batchelder, Sep 25, 1849Map (db m147407) HM
65 California, Modoc County, Fort Bidwell — A-30 — Applegate Trail - Through the Forest
"Trees hundreds of feet high and 4-5-6 feet in diameter ... We can drive anywhere among the trees. Only the ground is covered with cobble stones" - E. W. Brooks, Sep 1, 1849Map (db m147888) HM
66 California, Modoc County, Newell — A-44 — Applegate Trail - Bloody Point — California Historical Landmark No. 8 —
"Over divide to Tule Lake, on Lost River, passed in sight of Bloody Point where a train of emigrants were cut off last year. This afternoon Geo. W. Ebey killed a brant on the lake. Oh, so good to eat." - James Henry Bascomb Royal, Oct 19, 1853.Map (db m147563) HM
67 California, Modoc County, Newell — A-40 — Applegate Trail - Pothole Spring
"Camped at a magnificent spring of fresh cold water, which we called Goff's Spring, in honor of the newly elected lieutenant of the company." -Levi Scott, South Road Exploring Party, 1846Map (db m151903) HM
68 California, Modoc County, Newell — Burnett CutoffAssociated With the California Trail National Historic Trail System
This trail was blazed by Peter Burnett in 1848 from Oregon City, Oregon Territory to the California gold fields. The route followed the Applegate Trail south and eastward to Tule Lake. It then struck southward probably following an earlier trail . . . Map (db m147839) HM
69 California, Nevada County, Alta Sierra — T-62 — Truckee Trail - All Hills and Ravines
"The country here is all hill & ravine the soil red or yellow mixed with small stones & gravel - Timber mostly pine some oak & cov[ere]d with dried up weeds no grass except in some ravines" - William Edwin Chamberlain, Aug 16, 1849Map (db m149137) HM
70 California, Nevada County, Alta Sierra — T-63 — Truckee Trail - Among the Foothills
"Now that we are among the foot hills the pines have disappeared and in their place beautiful evergreen oak is scattered here and there giving the appearance of old apple orchards." - A, J. McCall, Sep 14, 1849Map (db m149156) HM
71 California, Nevada County, Chicago Park — T-60 — Truckee Trail - Forks Right & Left
"[From Greenhorn Creek] we past [sic] up a steep ascent (doubled teamed) & came to the forks of the road. The right goes by the way of Yuba & left straight on by Johnsons [Ranch] We taken [sic] the left." - Augustus Ripley Burbank, Sep . . . Map (db m149130) HM
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72 California, Nevada County, Cisco Grove — T-47 — Truckee Trail - Ascent to Lake and Valley
"Traveled six miles down Eubah then took to the left over the mountain passed a lake on our left on top of the mountain [Crystal Lake] drove ... to a valley on our left [Six Mile Valley] and encamp" - William P. Thompson, Aug 28, 1850Map (db m149761) HM
73 California, Nevada County, Higgins Corner — T-66 — Truckee Trail - Approaching Sacramento Valley
"We are evidently approaching the plains [of Sacramento Valley]. The hills are decreasing in magnitude & every thing indicates that we have gotten through the most difficult part of the mountains." - Jacob R. Snyder, Sep 25, 1845Map (db m149139) HM
74 California, Nevada County, Nevada City — NC-9 — Nevada City Road - Leaving Washington Ridge
"We dared not lets them browse among the trees lest, by feeding on the poison oak, it might prove...fatal to them.... We therefore sought a place of greater safety,...through a forest of pine and cedar." - John Steele, Sep 22, 1850Map (db m148909) HM
75 California, Nevada County, Nevada City — NC-6 — Nevada City Road - No Water on Washington Ridge
"We camped in the woods and chained our oxen to a tree and fed them a little hay that we got in [Bear] Valley for the purpose; we had no water for them, but got a little for ourselves by going a mile for it." William B. Baker, Aug 31, 1852Map (db m149129) HM
76 California, Nevada County, Nevada City — Pioneer Emigrant Trail
This boulder was known to the pioneers as the Indian Medicine Stone. On its top are hollows in which the Indians lay while taking sun baths to cure their ills. One branch of the Emigrant Trail leading from Truckee Pass to the gold mines of Nevada . . . Map (db m37121) HM
77 California, Nevada County, Omega — NC-3 — Nevada City Road - Washington Ridge Summit
"Climbing the steep mountain road [from Bear Valley] to the summit, we struck off in a westerly course, along a heavily timbered ridge" John Steele, Sep 21, 1850Map (db m148898) HM
78 California, Nevada County, Truckee — Nev.-01-95 — Schallenberger Cabin Site
Near this spot stood a small cabin built by 18 year old Moses Schallenberger and two other men. They were members of the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy party of 1844, the first pioneers to take wagons over the Sierra Nevada, opening the Truckee Route of . . . Map (db m94059) HM
79 California, Nevada County, Truckee — Stephens – Townsend – Murphy Party of 1844First Pioneer Wagons Over The Sierra Nevada
On May 22, 1844, this small wagon party of 50 men, women and children “jumped off” from Council Bluffs, Iowa, bound for California. These courageous pioneers were the first emigrants to take wagons over the Sierra Nevada, opening the . . . Map (db m23567) HM
80 California, Nevada County, Washington — NC-4 — Nevada City Road - Opposite Washington Diggings
"Traveled 16 miles of pretty good road except [from] Bear Valey [sic]. Hilly which was very steep. Camped in mountain opposite Washington [Diggings] on the Yuba River, No feed or water, but plenty of timber." - John Shin, Sep 30, 1850Map (db m148908) HM
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81 California, Placer County, Soda Springs — Stephens-Townsend-Murphy Party
In 1844, the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy Party became the first wagon party to cross the Sierra Nevada. A portion of the group spent the winter nearby along the Yuba River, before continuing to Sutter's Fort in the spring of 1845. Their pioneering . . . Map (db m95508) HM
82 California, Placer County, Soda Springs — T-42 — Truckee Trail - Leaving Summit Valley
About one mile from our camp and we left the valley to our right and went up a ravine on the left; 4 miles more brought us to a group of lakes (6 in number) the water in them was cool and beautifully clear - John Markle, August 22, 1849Map (db m149586) HM
83 California, Placer County, Soda Springs — T-43 — Truckee Trail - Through Boulder Field
You take off to the left of the valey [sic] (Summit Valley) Travel over much bad road The rock is all through the wood looking like waggons [sic] white cows and sheep Micajah Littleton, Sep 28, 1850Map (db m95644) HM
84 California, Placer County, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort — T-41 — Truckee Trail - To Summit Valley
Dcinded abut 5 miles (from Roller Pass) throug lovly pine fur & ceder groves some of wich ... measured upwards of 33 feet and look as though they were 300 feet high. Came to a butifull little valley & campt - M. A. Violette, Sep 1, 1849Map (db m149497) HM
85 California, Plumas County, Beckwourth — B-10 — Beckwourth Trail - Head Waters of Feather River
"The road now continues down the valley ... thirteen miles. Here is a spring of water near the road, on the left. Also a small stream, the head waters of Feather River. ...Passed several [mountains] called buttes." - Henry T. Baldy, Sep 8, 1852Map (db m148732) HM
86 California, Plumas County, Beckwourth — B - 11 — Beckwourth Trail – The Road Forks
“Beckwiths House (is) the first house that I have seen since I left (Ft.) Laramie... at Beckwiths House the roads fork, the left hand goes to 76 & Maryesville, the right hand is called Beckwiths rout to Maryesville.” – John F. . . . Map (db m66177) HM
87 California, Plumas County, Chilcoot — B-8 — Beckwourth Trail - Beckwourth Pass
"Trow informed us we were in California, when father gave three loud cheers, which echoed from the rocks and hills about us. Willie said that he would not like to spend his life in California if this was it." - Harriet S. Ward, Oct 1, 1853Map (db m148728) HM
88 California, Plumas County, Meadow Valley — B-35 — Beckwourth Trail – Grizzly Creek
“Crossed a brook with high banks, where Squire Stephens upset the wagon he was driving in which was Philip Linthicum and he was hurt very badly” – John Dalton, Sep. 2, 1852Map (db m56549) HM
89 California, Plumas County, Meadow Valley — B-34 — Beckwourth Trail – Haskins Valley
“... camped in order to cut some grass to feed along the road ahead, and also on account of P. Linthicum who was still very sick; not expected to live.” – John Dalton, Sep. 3, 1852Map (db m56548) HM
90 California, Plumas County, Meadow Valley — B 33 — Beckwourth Trail – Rich Valley
Now under water, Rich Valley and Bucks Ranch (1850) made a superb stopping place for emigrants of 1851 and later. “Good grass, wood and water” – John Dalton, Sep. 1, 1852Map (db m56536) HM
91 California, Plumas County, Quincy — B-24A — Beckwourth Trail – American Ranch
This marker stands on part of the American Ranch of 1850. A way stop for emigrants of 1851 and later. “Here were obtained some fine vegetables...” Joshua Variel. Sept. 17, 1852Map (db m56403) HM
92 California, Plumas County, Quincy — B-23 — Beckwourth Trail – Greenhorn Creek Canyon
Trail route, 1851 and later. “Drove... through the canyon crossing the creek five times, two miles over the roughest road I ever saw” – Joshua Variel, Sep 16, 1852.Map (db m56500) HM
93 California, Plumas County, Quincy — B-24 — Beckwourth Trail – New England Ranch
“Had a hard road, crooked & rocky. Had to cross (Greenhorn) creek 8 times in going 5 miles. Got down to the New England Ranch at noon, camped here for today.” - Chester Smith, Sep. 27, 1852.Map (db m66159) HM
94 California, Plumas County, Vinton — B-9 — Beckwourth Trail - Beckwourth Valley
"We beheld a large valley spread out before us, surrounded by majestic mountains covered with pine and snow. Six miles down the valley brought us into camp on the banks of a branch of Feather River." - Jacob S Hayden, Aug 19, 1853Map (db m148730) HM
95 California, San Joaquin County, French Camp — 668 — French Camp
Here was the terminus of the Oregon-California Trail used by the French-Canadian trappers employed by the Hudson’s Bay Company from about 1832 to 1845. Michel La Framboise, among others, met fur trappers here annually where they camped with their . . . Map (db m15957) HM
96 California, Santa Clara County, Cupertino — Captain Elisha Stephens1804 - 1887 — A True Pioneer —
Captain Stephens brought the first wagons over the snow covered Sierra Nevada Truckee Pass with no casualties in the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend party of 1844, arriving at Sutter's Fort with 11 wagons and 51 people plus 2 infants born on the way. . . . Map (db m24125) HM
97 California, Santa Clara County, Morgan Hill — Murphy-Stephens-Townsend Party1844
Murphy-Stephens-Townsend Party, the first wagon train across the Sierra NevadaMap (db m213071) HM
98 California, Shasta County, Anderson — N-58 — Nobles Trail - Bear Creek
"Rolled on to Bear Creek a distance of about 14 miles and encamped on a small island near the creek... many grapes nearly ripe along the banks and grizzly bears are said to be plenty." - Joseph R. Bradway, Sep 12, 1853Map (db m149411) HM
99 California, Shasta County, Old Station — N-27 — Nobles Trail - Butte Creek
"We finally reached Black Butte Creek and followed it to Black Butte Lake. The lake was three miles long and on its left shore was a volcano which had been active a few years before." Tosten Kittelsen Stabek, 1852Map (db m148275) HM
100 California, Shasta County, Old Station — N-40 — Nobles Trail - Devil's Half Acre
"Then some miles of very rocky road amongst which is the piece called the 'Devils Half Acre', then tolerable road for rest of the day" - Benjamin Franklin Ruggles, Aug 16, 1859Map (db m149314) HM

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Feb. 21, 2024