Johnson Cutoff

The Johnson Cutoff is described (along with the Luther Pass Trail) 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.

Marker JC-1 / CR-29


TO JOHNSON CUTOFF

"Strike the river and campt on the bank ... near the junction of the roads ... the left is the old Carson Road the right is Johnsons Cut Off a new road ... we take the cut off ... across the valley to Eagle Ranch 4 miles." - William Gilbert, September 22-23, 1853


This post is also Marker CR-29 on the Carson River Route. Use the button below to navigate to it.

Marker JC-2


LEAVING EAGLE RANCH

"Went to Eagle Ranch [later Carson City], got dinner and traveled up mts. [by way of Kings Canyon]" - James Samuel Fisher, August 16, 1852

Marker JC-3


KINGS CANYON PASS

"We rise to the top of the ridge. We then commence descending a short steep descent into a pretty valley. Good feed and water. Crossed a small stream and over rolling country ... and campt. Good feed and water." - William Wirt Gilbert, September 23, 1853

Marker JC-4


SAND HILLS

"Continue descending but passing over sandy hills on the south of the road [south of Hwy 50] ... good grass and water 2 miles [to clear creek]" - James H. Compton, September 20, 1853

Marker JC-5


SPOONER SUMMIT

"A gradual ascent [rough road], the latter portion in a ravine [of Clear Creek], to the top of a ridge [at Spooner Summit]." - William Bartlett [Bartlett's Guide], August 13, 1853

Marker JC-6


OVER RIDGE AND RAVINE

"Over ridge and [ravine] often in sight of Bigler or Truckee Lake, with plenty of water and some small patches of grass to the summit of a ridge 8 miles." - James H. Compton, September 21, 1853

Marker JC-7


BAD ROAD ALL DAY

"Road ascending up a very high mountain from which we have a fine view of Truckee [Tahoe] Lake.... We now descend and ascend over high rocky mountains. A very hard and bad road all day." - William Wirt Gilbert, September 25, 1853

Marker JC-8


GEORGETOWN TRAIL JUNCTION

"Decent sandy and steep, to the foot 1 3/8 [mile]. Road good to intersection of trail from Mormon Station, 1 3/4 [mile]." - William Bartlett [Bartlett's Guide], August 13, 1853

Marker JC-9


TROUT CREEK

"Started at 2 p.m. down through [Lake] valley for 6 miles and campt near a small stream. Here we saw 2 men just commencing to mine gold just found here road very good this afternoon." - William Wirt Gilbert, September 26, 1853

Marker JC-10 / LP-5


ASCENT OF JOHNSON PASS

"It took fifty men of us and all the oxen we could hitch to the wagons to take thirteen wagons up in two days. it takes all the men ... and four yoke of oxen to move an empty wagon.... it is just like climbing a tree only worse." - William Gobin, October, 1852


This post also has the LP-5 (Luther Pass) marker on it.

Marker JC-11


CLIMB FROM ROCK TO ROCK

"The ascent was commenced, from rock to rock we were forced to climb until, weary and worn down by the constant exertions essential to the advancement of our desires to reach the summit, where we arrived in safety." - John F. Riker, July 27, 1852

Marker JC-12


HEADWATERS AMERICAN RIVER

"After leaving the summit, the road was good for some distance; then we descended another steep and stony mountain to the first waters of the American River." - John F. Riker, July 27, 1852

Marker JC-13


SLIPPERY FORD

"We finally got out of the rocks, and then down a steep smooth rock, some 200 yards, to a beautiful, clear, cold, rapid stream, whose bed is the solid, smooth granite." - J. Robert Brown, September 28, 1856

Marker JC-14


ASCENT TO THE SUMMIT

"We now had to go up an ascent of four or five miles. The road would run along the side of the mountain, and then turn square up for a short distance. In this way we passed over many dangerous places" - J. Robert Brown, September 28, 1856

Marker JC-15


SILVER CREEK RANCH

"One of the worst roads I ever saw No feed till we arrived at Silver Creek Ranch ... any one that never travelled such a road would think it impossible for a wagon to go over." - William Wirt Gilbert, September 30, 1853


There is also a plate on the back of this post.


EMIGRANT TRAIL JUNCTION

"At this historic emigrant trail junction, the earlier 1850 Daggett Pass - Georgetown Pack Trail continued northwest to Georgetown. The 1852 Johnson Cutoff turned west along Peavine Ridge to Placerville."

Marker JC-16


HALFWAY HOUSE

"Pass around and ascend a small hill to good grass and water a little north of the road 1/2 mile to the halfway house." - James H. Compton, September 26, 1853

Marker JC-17


PEAVINE HILL AND PEAVINE SPRINGS

"We came to what is called Peavine Hill, and found a long steep descent, but we got down without difficulty, and nooned near an excellent spring [Granite Springs]" - J. Robert Brown, September 30, 1856

Marker JC-18


SEAR'S POST

"The scenery is magnificent but it would be some task to come over these mountains with wagons. We saw any amount of grizzly bear tracks today." - George Washington King, June 6, 1853

Marker JC-19


ON THE RIDGE

"We came over a ridge or backbone; the road is now much traveled and is very dusty. The earth is very red and dry; the road is well worked here, for they haul much ice along here to Hangtown." - J. Robert Brown, October 2, 1856

Marker JC-20


BROCKLISS GRADE

"We then came on down hill again, and through more dust, and camped before Mr. Brockless' house. He owns a bridge here, over the south fork of American River" - J. Robert Brown, October 2, 1856

Marker JC-21


DESCENT TO RIVER

"Advanced next morn down this summit to south fork of American River at bridge & trading post ... ascended last summit ... & arrived at old Carson River Road" - Charles O. Loomis, September 8, 1852

Marker JC-22


BROCKLISS BRIDGE

"Come only seven miles, passed the bridge on the south fork, Brockliss Bridge I believe, fare $1.00, Heavy Grade up from the river" - John McTurk Gibson, September 7, 1859


McTurk's journal can be viewed at https://wjh.us/journal/index.htm.

Marker JC-23


BARTLETT BRIDGE

"Travelled to the south fork, here is a trading post and bridge, they charge 50 c for a man and hores, ... we would not pay toll but forded, verry bad ford, went up a long mountain through the brush" - William Perry Hampton, September 13, 1852

Marker JC-24


FRESH POND

"Camping place, called [Fresh] pond at the foot of Junction Hill, very long and steep." - John McTurk Gibson, September 7, 1859


"We got some whisky for the cattle and drank it ourselves. It is the first I have had" - John W. Powell, September 7, 1859



McTurk's journal can be viewed at https://wjh.us/journal/index.htm.

Marker JC-25 / CR-61


CUTOFF TO JOHNSON RANCH AND PLACERVILLE

"Came ... up to the forks of the road, one goes to Placerville and one to Weaver Town [Weberville], took our right hand road to Placerville or Hang Town, and came to what is called Johnson's RanchMilo Stannard Baker, August 13, 1850


UNION HILL

"Three miles from where we leave the [South Fork American] river we came to the junction of the roads where the Carson and Cut Off Road joins in one" - William Wirt Gilbert, October 4, 1853


This post is also the location of Marker CR-61 (Carson River Route). Use the button below to navigate to that route.

Marker JC-26


TOOK THE HANGTOWN ROAD

"To the fork of the road leading to Wever Town & Hangtown Here we took the Hangtown road it being the best thence to water on the left of road. Good grass one mile to right of road." - Seth Lewelling, August 3, 1850

Marker JC-27


SPORTSMANS HALL

"Started over the mountains again. Drove ... over the [most] dusty roads we have ever saw since we left home. Camped about 6 in the evening at the Sportsmans Hall." - Abbey E. Fulkerth, August 3, 1863

Marker JC-28


JOHNSON RANCH

"We ... arrived at Johnson's Ranch consisting of a double log house with an enclosed field attached owned by a settler by the name of Johnson ... this ranch is seven miles from Hangtown." - Silas Newcomb, September 4, 1850

Marker JC-29


DESCENDED A RAVINE

"We descended a ravine, ... from this point, ... nothing was to be seen but one long row of miners. The pick rattling against the rocks, ... as we proceeded ... log huts, made their appearance on either side of the ravine." - William Renfro Rothwell, August 26, 1850

Marker JC-30 / CR-69


PLACERVILLE

"We have come four miles and come to a flourishing little town in the mountains. The original name of this town is Placerville. ... men are diging here in the middle of the streets in search of gold." - William H. Kilgore, August 5, 1850


This post also has Marker CR-69 (Carson River Route). Use the button below to navigate to that route.