The California National Historic Trail is recognized as a nationally significant resource relevant to the westward expansion of the United States. Although administered by the National Park Service, it is not a typical national park with borders. Rather, it is an historic "road" or route used by hundreds of thousands of emigrants between the 1840s and early 1870s as they made their way west to begin a new life or to seek their fortune.
There are many historic sites, museums, and parks (federal, state, and local) along the California National Historic Trail. Operating hours vary from site to site.
Operating hours and seasons for trail resources and sites of interest along this 2,000 mile route vary with each site and facility. Many private and agency museums and interpretive centers exist from Missouri to California. Please visit the Links &Resources page for a listing of trail managers and contact information.
We have trip planning publications to help you follow the trail. They can be found on the Brochures web page.