Route of the Bidwell-Bartleson Party

Crossing the Sierra Nevada in 1841



Route of the Bidwell-Bartleson Party

After turning south from the Humboldt Sink, the Bidwell-Bartleson Party followed the West Walker River to Antelope Valley. They had already abandoned their wagons. Scouts sent into the mountains reported nothing but snowy peaks ahead, but with no better alternative the emigrants headed into the Sierra Nevada.

map of route of the Bidwell-Barlteson Party across the Sierra Nevada, CA

Wandering Down the Western Slope

Once the emigrants had negotiated a way around the deep canyon at today's Donnell Reservior, they pushed west, staying high on the ridge above the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River. Few clues remain of their precise route, but eventually they crossed both forks of the Stanislaus and made their way down the ridges until they came in site Mount Diablo in the distance and then, to their relief, the fertile San Joaquin Valley.

map of route of the Bidwell-Barlteson Party across the Sierra Nevada, CA

Sites worth visiting:


Find complete information about camping, lodging, historic sites, and recreation at Sonora Pass Vacations.


Dave's Sierra Fishing provides information about some of the best fishing destinations in the Sierra, including the Sonora Pass region.




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