Lassen-Applegate-Trail-Ride-3-19-13Wagons Ho! Just imagine a sport utility vehicle (SUV) trek for the entire family that traces the same route used by 8,000 early pioneers in more than 1,500 covered wagons from 1849 to 1852 that brought a flood of immigrants to California…most of whom had the Gold Rush fever. The overland emigrant trip would take five to six months crossing mountains, deserts, rivers, and some of the most hostile country in the world.

SUV and other four wheel drive owners can now relive the golf rush era as they travel the famous Lassen-Applegate Emigrant Trail, marveling as such sights as the beautiful Black Rock Desert, the majestic High Rock Canyon, Double Hot Springs, Soldier Meadows and so much more.

This exciting 200-mile journey begins on Friday, July 19 through Monday, July 22 and is hosted by the high Rock Trekkers Four Wheel Drive Club.  The trip begins near Imlay, NV and follows the same wagon train route used by Peter Lassen in 1849.  The trip concludes in Surprise Valley, CA near Cedarville in Modoc County.  This was also an alternate route used by early pioneers to reach central Oregon.

“For me, this trail is special and as a historian, I get to relive the past by thinking of John C. Fremont, Kit Carson, and Thomas ‘Brokenhand’ Fitzpatrick and many other brave men and women as they made this arduous journey from small towns throughout the Midwest,” said Warner Anderson, trail boss from the High Rock Trekkers.  Anderson said the trip is open to all four-wheel drive enthusiasts and their families.  It is not a difficult route; however, there are a few places where four-wheel drive will be required or where trail committee instructions must be followed.

“The emigrants wrote in their diaries such good descriptions of their trip that we can identify the majority of key points of interest in the history of this route,” Anderson said.

Camping the first night will be at Double Hot Springs, former camping area for all of the pioneer wagon trains and the second night participants will spend the evening at Stevens Camp, which provides toilets, spring water, and possible hot showers.  Participants will need to bring their own tents and sleeping bags.

Cost for the trip is $275 per adult, $150 for children seven through 14 and children under seven are welcome free of charge.  The cost includes all meals from breakfast on Saturday through breakfast on Monday.  In addition to tents and sleeping bags, participants are encouraged to bring a CB radio, camera, folding chairs, snacks, refreshments, and drinking water.

The trip is fully insured and operates under a permit from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  Proceeds from the event help support the California Association of Four-Wheel Drive Clubs’ Conservation and Education Foundation.

The trip is limited to the first 25 vehicles on a first-registered, first-served basis.  To register for this exciting trail ride, contact Warner Anderson at  (775) 629-9232 or or Ron Vance at (775) 246-4099 or  Registration is also available online at

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