California Hill, Nebraska

A Path Climbed by Thousands of Westward Emigrants

This large hill, which became known as "California Hill," was climbed by thousands of emigrants heading west during the covered wagon migrations, 1841-1860.

Overview

Many emigrants were bound for Oregon. California became the destination of a majority of travelers after gold was discovered there in 1848. The most important crossing of the South Platte River during this period was south and a little east of here. After fording the river and ascending California Hill, the emigrants traveled northwesterly to the North Platte River via Ash Hollow. The terrain restricted the route wagons could take up the hill, causing deep ruts that are still visible about two-thirds of a mile north-northwest of this marker.

California Hill and the marker were gifts to the Oregon-California Trails Association by Malcolm E. Smith, Jr. in memory of Irene D. Paden who dedicated much of her life to retracing and writing about the Oregon and California Trails. The acquisition was facilitated by the generous cooperation of Ivor D. and Carol A. Dilky, the Farmers Home Administration and the Adams Bank and Trust.

      Location

      Open to the public: West of Brule, Keith County, Nebraska. SW Corner, Sec. 14, T13N, R41W. The marker is located on the north side of U.S. 30, approximately 4.5 miles west of Brule, Nebraska.

          ^ Back to Top

          Trail Sites California Hill, Nebraska

          Save the Trail: Preservation
          Paper Trail: Pioneer Documents

          OCTA News

          Registration Materials for Gila Bend Symposium Are Now Ready

          Proposed Transmission Line Threatens Oregon National Historic Trail

          The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its Record of Decision ...

          Emigrant Trails Hall of Fame now available online

          OCTA Activities

          Speakers Bureau

          Jan 30, 2017

          Join Us

          FacebookLike us on Facebook OCTA MembershipBecome a member (from $50)