Annual Highway 50 Wagon Train

By: Anne Sutterfield

Ride along in celebration of Nevada’s and California’s only bi-state historic event – the annual Highway 50 Association Wagon Train!

Wagon Train itinerary

As early as the 1840’s, a trickle of humanity began the arduous journey toward the great Pacific and the freedom they foresaw in settling there. In 1849, the cry of “Gold!” from the foothills of the California territory rocked the world, and leaving property and families behind, men traveled west.

In the early 1850’s, one of the major land routes to California, traversing what we now know as Echo Summit and the Highway 50 corridor, became known as the “Roaring Road”. Travel was so heavy, wagon trains were frequently forced to wait for days to have their turn on the road.

Wagon Train

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the “Gold Rush”, a Wagon Train was formed to travel west from Lake Tahoe to Placerville (Old Hangtown) along Highway 50. This “one time” event was so popular that it resumed in 1951, and has made its annual trek each year since that time.

Waking up before dawn, savoring the rich aromas of coffee boiling and bacon frying, mingled with the clanking of harness, the soft nickers of horses being readied for the day, and the murmurs of the wranglers going about their duties, draws one back into a lifetime of excitement and anticipation.

Wagon Train
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Whether you ride for only a day, or for the whole trip, the wonders of this great land are truly appreciated as one travels down the road at an average speed of three miles per hour! Evening campfires, storytelling and low key entertainment round out the experience. Families are welcome!

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