Enjoy the California National Historic Trail!
Essential Information for Your Trip on the Trail
"Ho for California!" Free Land. Gold. Adventure. Between 1841 and 1869, more than a quarter million people answered this call and crossed the plains and mountains to the West. These emigrants started their journeys in Kansas and Missouri, walking more than 2,000 miles for months in pursuit of a better life. Today, the California Trail still beckons the adventurous and modern highways overlay much of the route. These corridors near the original trail route are called Auto Tour Routes. Follow these Routes to travel in the footsteps of these rugged pioneers.
The California National Historic Trail (NHT) was designated by Congress in 1992 and is administered by the National Park Service as a component of the National Trails System. Despite the name, the California NHT is not a continuous traditional trail from end to end, but consists of many trail traces, structures, graves, landmarks, and markers left on the landscape to remind us that the trail still lives on.
Here is some information to help you plan your visit along the California NHT.
Places To Go offers site listings by state that include site name, address, phone number, access, historical significance, onsite interpretation, and website.
Fees & Passes offers information on what costs may be associated with your visit.
Protect the Your Trail Heritage
To foster trail preservation, do not use metal detectors, dig at sites, collect artifacts, or remove anything. Please respect these historic places.
Last updated: April 30, 2018