Welcome to the California Trail Heritage Alliance
Our mission is to enhance the California Trail Experience for our community, visiting public, and future generations.
Learn about America's Pioneer Heritage
There is so much to explore at the California Interpretive Center in Elko, NV. In the 1800's many emigrants traveled the California Trails in search of a better life. Visit us to learn about the trails, the people and the hardships they endured in the 1800's.
Discover What CTHA Has Accomplished
Because of the generous donations of our sponsors, we are able to carefully select projects that are of value now and will be for future generations. View the many projects we are currently involved in.
Get Involved to Save our Trails
The trails the pioneers traveled are an important part of American history, but these routes are quickly disappearing. The California Trail Heritage Alliance supports the preservation of these trails through marking, mapping, placing signs and educating the public about the importance of these emigrant routes.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to enhance the California Trail Experience for our community, visiting public, and future generations.

CTHA actively promotes trail protection and preservation through outreach at local schools and engagement with state and federal agencies and private land owners.

Our members volunteer their time, energy, research and expertise in a variety of ways.

California Trail Center Event


The California Trail Heritage Alliance, founded in 1995, is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the California Trail, the Hastings Cutoff and other trails in northern Nevada.  We approach this in several different ways.  These include trail marking, trail mapping, and site (trail) Stewardship. Education and interpretation of the trails is also an important aspect of trail protection and preservation.  Through a grant from the Union Pacific Foundation, educational trunks have been placed at the California Trail Center in Elko, NV for use by classroom teachers.  CTHA members also participate in periodic events at the Trail Center including presentation of educational programs. Promoting local and regional visitation to the California Trail Center is another means of providing education and information to the public about the fascinating history of the emigrant trails and the importance of protecting and preserving them.

“Eastward I go only by force; westward I go free.” Henry David Thoreau 1862

How You Can Help!

We welcome your help in protecting and preserving our national historic trails.  Here are some things can do:

  • Join a trail marking trip – these trips are scheduled during the summer months. Contact us for more information.
  • Join a trail mapping trip – these trips are scheduled during the summer months – contact us for more information.
  • Get trained as a site steward through the NV State Historic Preservation Office program and adopt a site to monitor
  • Work on trail signage and interpretation – this involves year around effort – contact us for more information.
  • Develop an educational program – this can be done any time. Contact us with your ideas.
“Bade adieu” to home and started amid snow and rain for the land of gold.” Eliza Ann McCauley 1853

Help Us Save the Trails

Become a member of CTHA and work on local trail-related projects. Donate to CTHA and specify that your donation be used for trail protection and preservation. CTHA is a 501(c) (3) organization. Your tax-deductible donation will help fund important trail preservation work. You may send a check payable to the California Trail Heritage Alliance to CTHA  to P. O. Box 1778, Elko NV 89803 or make a secure online donation.  A tax receipt letter will be provided.

News & Events

  Thank you to the California Trail Interpretive Center for hosting another successful Trail Days event. This year CTHA members enjoyed volunteering and participating in the reenactment weekend.

CTHA has been publishing informative, interesting and educational newsletters since 2014.  The most recent editions are here for your convenience.  Older editions can be obtained upon request.  Newer editions are available with the purchase of a membership in the California […]

The Western Emigrant Trail Collection (WETC) is located at Great Basin College. The collection contains many books and research materials related to the Emigrant Trails and the region. The WETC is a partnership between the Oregon-California Trails Association, the California […]

The FWS is reviewing the draft MET Mapping report from the 2018 field season.  Plans are in development for the 2019 field work.


California Trail Interpretive Center
Go Mt. Charleston
Elko Convention Center
Oregon California Trails Association
Emigrant Trails West, Inc