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The California Trail

©1995 by Beverly Whitaker, Genealogy Tutor


Route of the California Trail

St. Joseph, Independence, Council Bluffs, and other frontier towns were jumping-off points to start the main trail overland to California. The trail coincided with the Oregon Trail until it crossed the Rockies. Some went north of the Great Salt Lake, others south, before coming together at the Humboldt River.

The most important stretch of what became the main California Trail was the path of the Humboldt River, flowing from northeastern Nevada some 400 miles across the arid flatlands lying between mountain ranges of the Great Basin. It provided the water and grass that was vital to the emigrant trains.

Downoad a 2-page Fact Sheet (free) about this trail in PDF format.

The California Trail

For more information about this and other migration trails, return to the

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Copyright © 1995-2009, Beverly Whitaker