California Trail

Many feeder branches of emigrant trails crossed the states of Iowa and Missouri.

The California Trail of about 3000 miles began near Kanesville, later named Council Bluffs, and Omaha, Nebraska.  Sections of the trail were discovered and developed by American Fur Traders like Kit Carson and Jebediah Smith.

To retrace a portion of the California Trail:

Getting across the Missouri River became easier mid-19th century by using steamboats and ferries to the Nebraska side of the river.

Trail Map

More Trails to Explore

West Nishnabotna River Water Trail

Float along this 27-mile water trail ideal for canoes, kayaks, and tubes.

Railroad Highway Multi-Use Trail

Enjoy this trail as it links smaller communities across Pottawattamie County.

What in the World?- On the Trail for Stranger Things

What does an angel of death, a round jail, a spider,and goat yoga have in common?

Mormon Trail

Explore the route traveled by 70,000 Mormons from 1846 to 1869.

Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway

Commemorate the first trans-continental highway as you follow this trail.

All Trails

Go back to our full list of trails!