Truckee River (to Johnson's Ranch)

The Truckee River Route (along with the Nevada City Road) 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 Truckee River Route.

Marker T-38


ASCENDING TO ROLLER PASS

"Started down [Coldstream] valley ... and we found ourselves surrounded on all sides by tall mountains. We were now ascending ... over a veary rocky road. Brought us to the might hill called the elephant." - John F. Lewis, September 2, 1849

T.R.R. - 23


This was originally placed by the Nevada Emigrant Trail Marking Committee, Inc. (NETMC), the precursor to Trails West, Inc. The marker reads

"EMIGRANT TRAIL-TRUCKEE RIVER ROUTE MARKER NO. T.R.R. 23 - COLDSTREAM CANYON EXIT. FROM HERE THE TRAIL CLIMBS WESTWARD TO COLDSTREAM PASS JUST SOUTH OF DONNER PEAK."

Marker T-39


ROLLER PASS

"We made a roller and fasened chans to gether and pulled the wagons up withe 12 yoke oxen on the top and the same at the bottom" - Nicholas Carriger, September 22, 1846

T.R.R. - 24


This was originally placed by the Nevada Emigrant Trail Marking Committee, Inc. (NETMC), the precursor to Trails West, Inc. The marker reads

"EMIGRANT TRAIL-TRUCKEE RIVER ROUTE MARKER NO. T.R.R. 24 - COLDSTREAM EMIGRANT PASS. ELEVATION APPROX. 7850 FEET. HIGHEST POINT ON TRUCKEE RIVER ROUTE."

Marker T-40


STEPHENS PASS

"It was one continued jumping from one rocky cliff to another. We would have to roll over this big rock, then over that, ... then we had to lift our wagons by main force up to the top of a ledge of rocks" - William L. Todd, September 1845

Marker T-41


TO SUMMIT VALLEY

"Dcinded about 5 Miles [from Roller Pass] throug Lovly Pine fur & ceder groves some of Wich ... measured upwards of 33 feet and Look as though they were 300 feet High came to a butifull Little Valley & campt" - M.A. Violette, September 1, 1849


M.A. Violette's diary can be downloaded from the OCTA website.

Marker T-42


LEAVING SUMMIT VALLEY

"About one mile from our camp and we left the valley to our right and went up a ravine on the left; 4 miles more brought us to a group of lakes (6 in number) the water in them was cool and beautifully clear" - John Markle, August 22, 1849


John Markle's diary can be downloaded from the OCTA website.

Marker T-43


THROUGH BOULDER FIELD

"You take off to the left our of the valey [Summit Valley] travel over much bad road the rock is all through the wood looking like waggons white cows and sheep" - Micajah Littleton, September 28, 1850


Micajah's partial diary (but not including this section of the Trail) can be downloaded from the OCTA website.

Marker T-44


DEVIL'S PEAK

"We nooned ... to the left of the road & clost to the foot of a high rocky peak on the south, which I called Pinnacle Rock (some call it the Devil's Peak). A fine spring rises here at its foot." - Augustus Ripley Burbank, September 13, 1849

Marker T-45


OVER SOLID GRANITE

"Our road continues rocky & ... cross the branch [to south side of the Yuba River], & then ascend a hill over solid rock's & descent very bad [short distance west of marker]" - Justus Casner Lincoln, September 21, 1849

Marker T-46


SOUTH YUBA RIVER BYPASS

"Past on down the river & valley over ledges & rocky spurs of the mountain on the left. ... we nooned by the side of a small pond on the left. Passed on down the descents on ledges" - Augustus Ripley Burbank, September 14, 1849

Marker T-47


ASCENT TO LAKE AND VALLEY

"Traveled six miles down Eubah then took to the left over the mountain passed a lake on our left on top of the mountain [Crystal Lake] drove ... to a vally on our left [Six Mile Valley] and encamp" - William P. Thompson, August 28, 1850



Marker T-48


SIX MILE VALLEY

"We then commenced descending [from Crystal Lake], which was very steep, with rocks. But not large. ... here we struck a wood valley & [then] struck a meadow or willow valley with grass & here we coralled." - Wakeman Bryarly, August 25, 1849


Wakeman Bryarly's diary can be viewed and downloaded from the Internet Archive.

Marker T-49


YUBA GAP

"Left [Six Mile Valley] at 8. Drove out of the valley. Passd up the Mt [to Yuba Gap] and down into a vally, went through it [Carpenter Flat] and descended a verry steep place [to Bear Valley]" - Alexander Love, August 26, 1849


Alexander's diary can be downloaded from the OCTA website.

Marker T-50


DESCENT TO BEAR VALLEY

"Came to the worst hill we have found yet. Not so rocky as some others, but steeper and longer. After passing down this descent we came to a level valley on Bear River with pretty good grass and encamped" - John Prichet, August 29, 1849

T-51 / NC-1


BEAR VALLEY

"This is a beautiful valley, about two miles in length and one half mile in width, covered with fine grass and a pure stream of water running through the centre of it. It is called Bear Valley." - Benjamin Hoffman, August 26, 1849


The other side of this marker is NC-1 for the Nevada City Road tour.

Marker T-52


ASCENT TO RIDGE

"We rolled out and left [Bear] valley. Had a veary rough rocky and hilly road for 7 miles. Here we crossed the river, and ascended a long steep hill leaving the river. Kept on the ridge, roads not rocky, but hilly." - John F. Lewis, September 8, 1849

Marker T-53


DEADMAN FLAT

"We came to Mammoth Spring. This is the most delicious water. Finding some good grass about a mile from here we camped for the night, this being our last camp on the journey." [to Little York diggings] - Eliza Ann McAuley, September 18, 1852


Eliza's diary is published in the Covered Wagon Women series of books (volume 4) and may be available for purchase in the CTIC gift shop.

Marker T-54


MULE SPRING

"After ascending the hill [to Lowell Hill Ridge], we had a good but winding road ... to Mule Springs. No grass; the emigrant depends entirely on the oak for cattle food." - John M. Conrad, September 27, 1849

Marker T-55


CAMEL'S HUMP

"Today our road has been over a high ridge often leading over elevated peaks difficult of ascent & descent & into ravines which it seemed impossible ever to get into without rolling from top to bottom" - William Edwin Chamberlain, August 14, 1849

Marker T-56


APPROACHING STEEP HOLLOW

"Kept along the heights very hill, no grass. After dark came to a very steep hill. Camped and took our mules down to water. [In Steep Hollow Creek] ... here we found some men at work mining." - Joseph Curtis Buffum, August 15, 1849


The first part of Buffum's diary (through South Pass) can be downloaded from the OCTA website. This version does not contain the segment along the Truckee River.

Marker T-57


STEEP HOLLOW DESCENT

"The hill ... down into 'Steep Hallow' was one of the worst yet ... our descent here landed us amongst the miners. Tinpans, cradles, picks, and shovels were all in motion." - Charles Ross Parke, September 6, 1849

Marker T-58


STEEP HOLLOW DIVIDE

"Slept on the top of the mountain with our goods, which was about the same as spreading a buffalo robe on a brick or stone pavement and lying down on it to sleep. Not as soft as downy pillows are." - John Prichet, September 5, 1849

Marker T-59


GREENHORN CREEK CROSSING

"[Came] to another branch of Bear River; where there were some of the gold diggers opperating but not with much success; the road from our camp to the branch run; along a ridge and was very hilly" - John A. Markle, August 26, 1849


John Markle's diary can be downloaded from the OCTA website.

Marker T-60


FORKS RIGHT & LEFT

"[From Greenhorn Creek] we past up a steep ascent (doubled teamed) & came to the forks of the road. The right goes by the way of the Yuba & left straight on by Johnsons [Ranch] we taken the left." - Augustus Ripley Burbank, September 19, 1849

Marker T-61


MOUNT OLIVE

"Laid over ... to recruit our cattle after the fitigue of passing up and down the steep and rocky Mts. We prospected for gold but found none. We are now 30 m. from Jounstons [Johnson's] ranch on Bear River." - Alexander Love, August 30, 1849


Alexander's diary can be downloaded from the OCTA website.

Marker T-62


ALL HILLS AND RAVINES

"The country here is all hill & ravine the soil red or yellow mixed with small stones & gravel - timber mostly pine some oak & cov[ere]d with dried up weeds no grass except in some ravines" - William Edwin Chamberlain, August 16, 1849


The first part of Chamberlain's diary (through July 2) can be downloaded at the OCTA website, but it does not continue through this reference.

Marker T-63


AMONG THE FOOTHILLS

"Now that we are among the foot hills the pines have disappeared and in their place the beautiful evergreen oak is scattered here and there giving the appearance of old apple orchards." - A. J. McCall, September 14, 1849


McCall's diary can be viewed on Hathitrust.

Marker T-64


HILLY COUNTRY

"We nooned by the way cutting down oaks for our cattle. ... our journey has been over a hilly country. ... several persons, teams etc. have been met through the day a coming up from the city of Sacramento." - Augustus R. Burbank, September 19, 1849

Marker T-65


LAST OF THE FOOTHILLS

"Our road led through the last foothills of the Sierra Nevada. The road was still not overly good, yet the worst was behind us. ... by afternoon we had the last woodlands behind us." - Heinrich Lienhard, October, 1846


The quote above comes from the book From St. Louis to Sutter's Fort, a memoir of Lienhard's, and no electronic access is available for this book. However, it may be found in some research libraries (including that of the CTIC) and rare book dealers. A portion of his memoir is reprinted in the 1951 (vol. 19) Utah Historical Quarterly. Heinrich's other memoir, A Pioneer at Sutter's Fort, 1846-1850, can be accessed from the Library of Congress.

Marker T-66


APPROACHING SACRAMENTO VALLEY

"We are evidently approaching the plains [of Sacramento Valley]. The hills are decreasing in magnitude & every thing indicates that we have gotten through the most difficult part of the mountains." - Jacob R. Snyder, September 25, 1845

Marker T-67


SACRAMENTO VALLEY IN VIEW

"After ... rising and descending a number of hills, from the summit of one more elevated than the others surrounding it, the spacious valley of the Sacramento suddenly burst upon my view" - Edwin Bryant, August 30, 1846


Edwin's diary can be viewed and downloaded from the Library of Congress. You may also be interested in the Edwin Bryant diary tour of our outdoor plaza.

Marker T-68


APPROACHING ROCK CREEK

"It was very warm and dusty. About four o'clock, we came to the prairie and to comparatively level road which we could appreciate as we had been having an abundance of the rough kind." - James S. Abell, September 10, 1849


Abell's diary can be downloaded from the OCTA website.

Marker T-69


TO JOHNSON RANCH

"With practically no food for man or beast, and by bringing all the energy and courage which both men and beast possessed, ... we succeeded in ... reaching the first, or Johnston's settlement." - Benjamin Hoffman, September 1, 1849

Marker T-70


TO JOHNSON RANCH

"Are now only 1 1/2 miles from Johnsons - the first settlement in California on this route, ... so that on reaching Johnsons we count our journey finished & its hazzards ended; that is the overland trip to California" - John A. Johnson, August 14, 1849