Beckwourth Trail (Reno to Quincy)

The Beckwourth Trail is described in a Trails West guidebook which may be available for purchase in the CTIC gift shop or you can purchase it directly from Trails West on their website. They have an online photo tour along the Beckworth Trail.

Marker B-1/T-20


TRUCKEE MEADOWS FORD

[Just before fording to the north side of Truckee River] "The road forks the left one is the old Truckee Route to Sacramento ... the right hand one and the one we traveled is Beckwiths cutoff [Beckwourth Trail]" - East S Owen, August 22, 1852


This marker is also on the Truckee Route and has the T-20 engraving on the other side of the marker. Use the button below to go to the Truckee Route.

Marker B-2


OVER A SAGE PLAIN

"Leaving the [Truckee] river bore off to the right over a sage plain near a mile with rather sandy road to the base of a low ridge." - D. B. Andrews, August 9, 1852


D.B. Andrews' diary is part of the OCTA collection and can be downloaded from their website.

Marker B-3


RISE THE MOUNTAINS

"Here take in water if necessary, as there is none for thirteen miles. We now leave Truckee River, and rise the mountains through a ravine very gradually. The road however quite rocky in places." - Henry T. Baldy, September 4, 1852


Henry's diary is held in the collection of the Denver Public Library, but no electronic access is available.

Marker B-4


GOLDEN VALLEY

"Here the trail leads around the western slope of the Red Buttes and ... over a sandy, stony and rolling country" - Jacob S. Hayden, August 18, 1852

Marker B-5


PEAVINE SPRINGS

"We travelled about 17 miles and encamped near the Peavine Springs, with good grass and water, but no fuel except buffalo chips. Our road stony and bad. Evening fine." - Harriet Sherrill Ward, September 29, 1853


Harriet's diary was published as the book Prairie Schooner Lady and is not available electronically.

Marker B-6


WHITE LAKE

"Came to another valley and lake. The road led where the lake had recently been but the water receded and left the ground hard, smooth and white and it had the resemblance to ice when the sun shone upon it." - Mariett Foster Cummings, August 13, 1852


Cummings' diary is printed in the Covered Wagon Women book series, Volume 4, and may be available for sale in the California Trail Interpretive Center gift shop.

Marker B-7


LONG VALLEY

"We descended in to the head of a beautiful valley here we found things requisite for camping ... our road led immediately down the valley from camp ... with a good level road all the way." - John C. Thorniley, August 16-17, 1852

Marker B-8


BECKWOURTH PASS

"Trow informed us we were in California, when Father gave three loud cheers, which echoed from the rocks and hills about us. Willie said that he would not like to spend his life in California if this was it." - Harriet S. Ward, October 1, 1853


Harriet's diary was published as the book Prairie Schooner Lady and is not available electronically.

Marker B-9


BECKWOURTH VALLEY

"We beheld a large valley spread out before us, surrounded by majestic mountains covered with lofty pine and snow. Six miles down the valley brought us into camp on the banks of a branch of Feather River." - Jacob S. Hayden, August 19, 1852

Marker B-10


HEADWATERS OF FEATHER RIVER

"The road now continues down the valley ... thirteen miles. Here is a spring of water near the road, on the left. Also a small stream, the head waters of Feather River. ... passed several [mountains] called buttes" - Henry T. Baldy, September 8, 1852

Marker B-11


THE ROAD FORKS

"Beckwiths house [is] the first house that I have seen since I left [Ft.] Laramie ... at Beckwiths house the roads fork, the left hand goes to 76, & Maryesville, the right hand is called Beckwiths rout to Maryesville." - John F. Freeman, September 13, 1852

Marker B-12


ALONG BIG GRIZZLY CREEK

"The road forks, the left & best to [76] but we were persuaded by all means to keep the [Beckwourth} trail through a dense forest of cedar pine & fir" - John Clark of Virginia, August 28, 1852


Clark's diary is held in the collection of OCTA and can be downloaded (with two others) from their website.

Marker B-13


ENTERING GRIZZLY VALLEY

"Passing on from Beckwith [ranch] on the right hand road about seven miles camped in a small valley with a spring of good water and entirely surrounded by pine timber." - D. B. Andrews, August 11, 1852


D.B. Andrews' diary is part of the OCTA collection and can be downloaded from their website.

Marker B-14


TALL TIMBER

"Hard to find a heavier and taller growth of timber in the world than what grows on these mountains ... not unusual here to find those which measure from 25 feet to 50 feet in circumference and from 250 to 300 feet in highth" - East S. Owen, August 26, 1852

Marker B-15


GRIZZLY VALLEY

"Drove 12 miles and camped in 'Grizzly valley' Called so for the abundance of Grizzly bear found in this vicinity" - East S. Owen, August 27, 1852

Marker B-16


BIG GRIZZLY CREEK

"From the west side of the [Grizzly] valley a narrow valley makes off in a westerly course. Down this the road runs occasionally passing through points of timber... . This valley is bordered by high mountains on either hand." - D. B. Andrews, August 12, 1852


D.B. Andrews' diary is part of the OCTA collection and can be downloaded from their website.

Marker B-17


BLAKELESS CREEK

"Road good; principally through a spruce grove of pine timber. Bought some venison of an emigrant and caught some fine trout in the head branch of N. Feather [Blakeless Creek]." - Joshua H. Variel, September 13, 1852


Variel's diary is part of the OCTA collection and can be downloaded from their website.

Marker B-18


EMIGRANT CREEK

"Started early in the morning crossed a small run [Emigrant Creek] which was bridged and commenced climbing an arm of the Sierra Nevada Mountains" - East S. Owen, August 28, 1852

Marker B-19


GRIZZLY RIDGE ASCENT

"Started early to cross the mountains. Had a very steep road, steepest I ever saw, took till noon to go 2 miles. When we got to the top it was the most sightly place I ever saw." - Chester Smith, September 26, 1852

Marker B-20


GRIZZLY RIDGE DESCENT

"We now take down one of the ragged spurs, so long & steep, it was necessary to save the waggons from distruction to take all the cattle off but one yoke. Then a good sizd tree ... made fast to the rear of each wagon;" - John Clark of Virginia, August 29, 1852


Clark's diary is held in the collection of OCTA and can be downloaded (with two others) from their website.

Marker B-21


STILL DESCENDING

"Passing down this pitch some 20 or 30 rods the road turned to the left still descending with very deep dust and some stone. The descent still continued ... occasionally descending exceedingly steep places." - D. B. Andrews, August 13, 1852


D.B. Andrews' diary is part of the OCTA collection and can be downloaded from their website.

Marker B-22


SPRING GARDEN

"When we reach the Willow Ranch, ... we camp & buy provisions at the usual high price. Our company lookd hungary, poor, dusty, sunburnt, & ragged. Our oxen nearly gone in. No cud, & two to make a shadow." - John Clark of Virginia, August 29, 1852


Clark's diary is held in the collection of OCTA and can be downloaded (with two others) from their website.

Marker B-23


GREENHORN CREEK CANYON

"Traveled until dark and camped at the foot of mountain at the head of nine mile cannon which we have to cross seven times in as many miles - and most of the way was as rough a road as ever wagons were driven over." - East S. Owen, August 28, 1852

Marker B-24


NEW ENGLAND RANCH

"Had a hard road, crooked & rocky. Had to cross [Greenhorn] creek 8 times in going 5 miles. Got down to the New England Ranch at noon, camped here for today." - Chester Smith, September 27, 1852

Marker B-24 A


AMERICAN RANCH

"To camp at the American Ranch. ... this is a splendid tract of land, surround by high mountains. ... there is a good business down in this valley as there are diggings all around it that are paying well." - Joshua H. Variel, September 16-17, 1852


Variel's diary is part of the OCTA collection and can be downloaded from their website.


There is another inscription on the other side of this marker.


AMERICAN RANCH

"From camp arrived at the American Ranch. This is situated on the American Valley. This valley is situated between high ranges of mountains & has a small creek passing through it & with much good pasturage." - D. B. Andrews, August 14, 1852


D.B. Andrews' diary is part of the OCTA collection and can be downloaded from their website.