Follow in the footsteps of over 250,000 emigrants who traveled to the gold fields and rich farmlands of California during the 1840s and 1850s-the greatest mass migration in American history. More than 1,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen across 10 states on the California National Historic Trail.
The land has a story to tell. Swales and creek crossings, dips and ruts chronicle life on the trail. Follow the stories by following these road signs.Read More
Learn About New Potential Trail Segments
Congress has directed the NPS to evaluate whether some 64 new trail routes should be added. Learn more about the feasibility study that is underway.Read More
Follow the Trails
See the trail using our Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guides that provide directions where visitors will find trail remnants and interpretive media.Read More
Find Your Name
Visit Oregon-California Trails Association’s website to search for pioneer emigrant names.Read More
Did You Know?
This spring provided the first source of fresh water for emigrant wagon trains after traveling the long hard, waterless drive across nearly 100 miles of Utah Desert. It is named in honor of the ill-fated Donner-Reed party which stopped at the springs on their way to California in the fall of 1846. More...