Monday, July 25, 2016

The California Trail is Important Link to our Past/Future

CA Trail Center near Elko, NV

At QWR, we believe “The Trails You Take on Life’s Journey are Important.”   Trails can offer backcountry adventurists a link to our past and/or help chart a course for the future.  A perfect example of that link to our past is found along the California Trail.  

According to The California Trail Interpretive Center, between 1841 and 1869, up to 250,000 people sold their belongings, packed wagons, and set out on a 2,000 mile trek for California.

Path of CA Trail

Located near Elko, Nevada, The Center is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and offers the public a high-quality “step back into the past” experience via a number of kiosks, video/audio presentations, authentic pioneer-era structures, artwork, and other educational modules.

CA Trail Marker Post 

 The Center also has a number of free publications with maps and site details for those of you who might want to explore the California Trail by vehicle.


While most of the California Trail is in close proximity to major interstate highways or goes through private property, there are some segments on federal lands that are accessible for those of you with high-clearance SUVs  or adventure/dual-sport motorcycles.

BLM Dirt Road along CA Trail

The next time you are near Wells, Nevada, you might want drive about 12 miles up Highway 93 and turn right at the BLM’s Hunter Draw/Willow Creek sign.  Just a few miles up that dirt road you will find carsonsite markers that identify the original California Trail where wagon ruts are still visible.

BLM Route Sign along Highway 93

Remember to stay on the dirt road which mostly parallels the California Trail so as to honor and protect the historic route.

View from BLM Road along CA Trail

QWR commends Congress for authorizing the California National Historic Trail in 1992.  The California Trail is administered by the National Park Service in partnership with the BLM, Forest Service, local/state government, and other stakeholders.   


QWR believes the California Trail highlights the important role that trails have in adding quality to our lives for both current and future generations.

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1 comment:

  1. Good write up. I haven't explored much in the far north east part of Nevada. Yet.
    Another great historic Nevada trail is in High Rock Canyon, near the Black Rock Desert. It was established in 1846 as part of the Applegate Trail. It is a motorized corridor through the High Rock wilderness. has a good write up.
    Check out
    Thanks Don. Keep exploring and sending these out.