California National Historic Trail

The California National Historic Trail passes through BLM managed lands in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. The trail was a mid-19th century highway for human movement to lures of gold and farmland in California. Numerous routes emerged in attempts to create the best available course. These fostered commerce and encouraged the development of transportation and communication networks. There were many changes in cultures of Native Americans along the way as hundreds of thousands of people and animals used the trail. Designated in 1992, this trail commemorates that which brought the country closer together and today offers auto touring, educational programs and visitor centers to present-day gold seekers and explorers.

California

The BLM in California manages four segments, nearly 140-miles, of the California National Historic Trail - the Applegate, the Lassen, the Nobles, and the Yreka.  Lured by gold and farmland in California, the California National Historic Trail was a mid-19th century highway for migration to the west.  Numerous routes emerged in attempts to create the best available course.  Today, this trail offers auto touring, educational programs and visitor centers to present-day gold seekers and explorers.

Idaho

Idaho is the perfect destination to learn history of the West while traveling in the footsteps of the pioneers who traveled across the dusty sagebrush-covered desert in search of a new home and a better life. Experience the California National Historic Trail by exploring south-central Idaho’s City of Rocks where you see names of past visitors inscribed in the rock in axle grease.

Nevada

The California Trail, located in northern Nevada, stretches across 700 miles of BLM-managed land. In 2012 BLM opened the California Trail interpretive Center along Interstate 80 near Elko.

Oregon

Known in Oregon as the Applegate Trail or Cut-off, the Southern Emigrant Road, and the South Road, the trail entered the state west of Lake Miller, crossed the Klamath River and Cascade Mountains, and after entering the Rogue River Valley turned north to its terminus in the Willamette Valley.  

Utah

The California National Historic Trail was a mid-19th century highway for human movement to lures of gold and farmland in California. Native American cultures changed along the way as hundreds of thousands of people and animals used the trail. The trail was designated in 1992. 

Wyoming

There are 472 miles of the California National Historic Trail in Wyoming. The discovery of the South Pass route over the Rocky Mountains was the primary reason for the location of the Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, California and Pony Express historic trails in Wyoming.

QUICK LINKS

QUICK FACTS

Congressional Designation 
Created: Aug. 3, 1992
Length:  1,498 miles 

PLAN YOUR VISIT

CONTACT US

Bureau of Land Management
California State Office

2800 Cottage Way Suite W1623
Sacramento, CA  95825

Phone:  916-978-4400

Email: BLM_CA_Web_SO@blm.gov