California Trail


Here, you can tour the California Trail stop by stop!


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Westward Expansion

Tour the:
Oregon Trail
California Trail
Santa Fe Trail
Mormon Trail

Historic Events

Louisiana Purchase
Lewis and Clark (in depth)
Monroe Doctrine
Erie Canal
Trail of Tears
Indian Wars
U.S. Territorial Acquisitions
Online Activities
Printable Activities

California Trail Stops

1. Home
2. Independence, Missouri
3. Great Plains
4. Chimney Rock
5. Fort Laramie
6. Rocky Mountains
7. Fort Hall
8. Great Basin
9. Sierra Nevada Range
10. Sutter’s Fort

Sierra Nevada Range

Sierra Nevada Range

The California Trail was one of several major routes used by settlers during westward expansion. The trail itself followed the same path as the Oregon Trail until Fort Hall, Idaho, where it spiraled southwest along the Humboldt River through the Great Basin of Nevada, the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, and finally to Sutter’s Fort, (Sacramento) California.

Over 250,000 gold-seekers and farmers-to-be used the trail to seek fortune in the mines, or, to settle on farm homesteads from the late 1840’s to the late 1860’s. Like most of the overland migration trails, the California Trail was no longer used after the introduction of the railroads.


Next Stop on the California Trail (Stop 1): Independence, Missouri


Visit any stop on the California Trail