16. Harrison Pass

Harrison Pass was the second of three routes across the Ruby Mountains. Neither Secret Pass nor Harrison Pass were suitable for wagons, so neither served as major emigration routes for families. The first group of overland emigrants to California was the Bidwell-Bartleson party. They set out in 1841 following the Oregon Trail through South Pass as far as the vicinity of Soda Springs. At this point the struck out cross-country heading west to try to get to California. The ended up abandoning their wagons in the difficult salt flats west of the Great Salt Lake. After packing their belongings on their livestock, they continued westward and apparently found their way across the Ruby Mountains through Harrison Pass. They eventually made it to California, and you can learn more about their story in the indoor exhibits of the California Trail Center.