• Chimney Rock was an important emigrant landmark in western Nebraska

    California

    National Historic Trail CA,CO,ID,KS,MO,NE,NV,OR,UT,WY

Tell-Tale Signs

HELPING YOU DISCOVER THE CALIFORNIA TRAIL

Look left, look right, look straight ahead - the land has a story to tell. Swells and swales, creek crossings and river routes, dips and ruts: all these signify an international highway of the past! You can follow the paths of emigrants, pony express riders, forty-niners, entrepreneurs, and stagecoach drivers. Imagine these long-ago times as you travel to historic rendezvous points and scout natural landmarks across the countryside.

These tell-tale signs will help you find and explore the many places and stories of the California National Historic Trail.

 
family of signs
 

family of roadway signs

 
CALI_Auto Tour Route

Auto Tour Route signs guide you along all weather roads that more or less follow the historic route of the trail. Look for Historic Site Name signs that clue you into places to experience on the trail. Did James F. Reed pass this way on his long journey to California?

 
CALI_Local Tour Route

Local Tour Route signs direct you over varied terrain following local low speed, rural, and even dirt roads. They follow a number of historic trail sites or segments in a small geographic area. Take the time to visit sites that today remain similar to how emigrants saw them, such as Alcove Spring, Kansas.

 
CALI_Crossing sign

Crossing signs alert you to locations where the historic trail crossed an existing road. But what crossed the road? Will you see evidence of an old wagon wheel path?

 
CALI_Original Route sign

Original Route signs are exclusive. These signs tell you that you are on roads well documented as being the original trail. Travel past Independence Rock and Devil's Gate in Wyoming and you will intersect and align with the main route that four historic trails followed over the Continental Divide.

 
CALI_Historic Site Name

Historic Site Name signs steer you to historic trail sites or segments. Emigrants carved their name on rock faces while passing by on what we now call Register Cliff in Wyoming.

 
GARDNER site ID sign
When you see a Site Identification sign, such as Gardner, Kansas (above), you know you have arrived at the entrance to a historic site, segment, or interpretive facility.

Did You Know?

The Silver Mountains and Bonneville Salt Flats along the Nevada and Utah border.

After struggling across nearly 100 miles of salt flats and soft, wet sand in Utah's Great Salt Lake Desert in the late summer of 1846, the Donner-Reed wagon train reached the Silver Mountains and fresh water just north of this location along Interstate 80 near the Nevada/Utah border. More...