Applegate Lassen Emigrant Trail
The Applegate Lassen Emigrant Trail was one of the major trails providing access into California and Oregon, also called the California Cutoff after it left the Oregon Trail near Fort Hall, Idaho.
The trail crossed the foreboding Black Rock Desert, then into the High Rock Canyon complex with its towering rock walls. Continuing their journey across the high desert the emigrants entered Surprise Valley with the snow-capped Warner Mountains to the west-which were many times mistaken for the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the lush valleys of Central California, only to find the harsh reality of hundreds of miles yet to go. Once over the Warner Mountains, the trail broke into two separate trails. At Goose Lake the Lassen Trail turned south for the California gold fields, while the Applegate Trail ventured northwest to the fertile inland valleys of Oregon. Names such as Bloody Point and the Descent into Goose Lake conjure up events of the past and are still in place today.
Pioneer journal accounts of using a wagon cover to capture fifty-five fine trout for dinner; or having to chop their way through dense lodgepole forests, and only making one mile of progress a day, bring the lives of the pioneers a little closer to us.
Trail markers identify the routes of these national historic trails, while publications, maps, and BLM offices can assist the traveller on a journey into the discovery of the early California Emigrant Trails.
The Applegate Lassen Emigrant Trail is a component of National Conservation Lands.