The California National Historic Trail traces the route taken by farmers, settlers, gold miners, and others who forged their way from Missouri to the Pacific Coast during the California Gold Rush.
The trail winds 2,000 miles from Missouri, through Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, to central California. The Auto Tour Route is comprised of major highways that follow the arduous path once taken by settlers traveling by horseback and covered wagon.
Historic sites along the way commemorate the Westward migration. Visitors can also enjoy scenic drives, hike, or ride horse trails. The Oregon-California Trails Association maintains Paper-Trail.org, a database where families can research their pioneer ancestors.
If You Go
Most of the trail now falls on private land. Permission is required to access some areas, while other segments are not open to the public.