Originally part of a working cattle ranch owned by Captain James Cook,
it features quarries with numerous, well preserved 20-million-year-old
The road to California carried over 250,000 gold-seekers & farmers
to the gold fields & rich farmlands of California during the 1840's
and 1850's - the greatest mass migration in American history. More than
1,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen in the vast undeveloped
west - reminders of the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs of early American
travelers and settlers.
Serving as a memorial to pioneers who settled the Great West, park includes
the 160-acre claim filed by Daniel Freeman under The Homestead Act of 1862.
In their search for a water route to the Pacific
Ocean, Lewis & Clark
opened a window onto the west for the young United States.
Led by Brigham Young, roughly 70,000 Mormons traveled along the Mormon
Trail from 1846 to 1869 in order to escape religious persecution.
Two segments (126 miles) of the Missouri River are protected in South
Dakota and Nebraska, affording opportunities for fishing and boating.
The river flows through a sparsely populated and very scenic area, and
its upper section affords excellent canoeing.
As the harbinger of America's westward expansion, the Oregon Trail was
the pathway to the Pacific for fur traders, gold seekers, missionaries
The Pony Express NHT was used by young men on fast horses to carry the
nation's mail from Missouri to California in the unprecedented time of
only ten days. The relay system became the nation's most direct and practical
means of east-west communications before the telegraph, and it played a
vital role in aligning California with the Union in the years just before
the Civil War.
Rising 800 feet above the valley floor, this was a natural landmark along
the Oregon Trail, associated with overland migration between 1843-1869
across the Great Plains.