Applegate Trail


The Applegate trail was one of the main emigrant routes bringing settlers to the west coast. There are traces of the original trail that are still visible. In addition to guiding you along the trail, our guides will also lead you to various historical information sites along the trail and point out places of interest that were important to the emigrants.


The first three trail guides above are all in the 8-1/2″ x 11″ format and include an extensive trail history, detailed driving directions, GPS coordinates for all trail markers, many detailed maps and photographs, hundreds of emigrant diary quotes, the Applegate-Scott Waybill from 1848, historical commentaries about locations along the trail and tales recorded by early travelers.


The first guide, A GUIDE TO THE APPLEGATE TRAIL FROM LASSEN MEADOWS TO GOOSE LAKE, is for the eastern section of the trail from where it departs the California trail at Lassen Meadows in Nevada to Goose Lake in California and uses 46 markers located along the trail to enable you to follow the actual trail that the emigrants used.


The second guide, A GUIDE TO THE APPLEGATE TRAIL FROM GOOSE LAKE TO SOUTHERN OREGON, is for the central part of the trail from where the first guide left off at Goose Lake and takes you to the vicinity of Ashland, Oregon. It includes information on 40 markers located along this section.


The third guide , A GUIDE TO THE APPLEGATE TRAIL FROM SOUTHERN OREGON TO THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY covers the final segment of the trail from the Ashland area to trails end at Dallas, Oregon using 40 historical markers along the route.


The last guide, APPLEGATE TRAIL OREGON DRIVING GUIDE, pretty much covers the same segment of trail as the third guide, but this guide is a driving guide only and like all of our driving guides is only intended to impart basic trail history and allow someone to follow the section of trail that it covers. It is in a 6″ x 9″ size and has all necessary maps and GPS data to cover the route but does not include photographs, diary quotes, and other information that is included in our full size guides.






1.   Here is an example of the inscription plates that are attached to each marker. (This is a California Trail plate, not an Applegate one.)



2.   The  How To Find driving instructions are included, along with Maps, that show the driving routes to each marker. These detailed instructions are planned to take the traveler along the trail by the quickest and safest route. The position of each marker is shown with GPS coordinates. Cautionary notes are included where appropriate. An example of a How To Find instruction is shown below.

See guide Map 3, page 26, and Map 4, page 32
From Marker A-39, return to FS Route 136. Turn left. Go 2.9 miles to a “Y” road junction. Bear left. Go 3.9 miles to FS Road 46N19, a dirt road on the left. Turn left. Go 0.6 mile to an unlocked green metal gate. Go through the gate and close it. Go 0.3 mile to the marker.
The marker is located on the southwest edge of a wet meadow at Pothole Spring and the grave of Lloyd Shook – 1851.
Caution: Sometimes this field is very wet and cannot be driven on.

3.   In our full size guides, many diary quotes are included for nearly every marker in order to give the modern traveler a taste of what the early emigrants experienced along the trail. A sample of one of these Overland Narratives is shown below.

“Sept. 20.  6 miles to a steep decent and good camp on creek [Jenny Creek] the decent is not dangerous though it is very steep  Mrs Brown is vey sick  the weather is pleasant.” William Cochran Stoddard, 1852

4.   Trail Descriptions describe the route of the trail between the markers. On the general maps, the map key indicates whether the trail shown is in original condition, has been used by vehicles or is located approximately. A sample description is shown below.

From Marker A-37, a short section of  the trail, followed by the trail route, goes west along Fletcher Creek for about 1 ½ miles to a small meadow where the creek makes a bend to the left. Here, the trail route turns southwest and continues about a quarter mile along the creek, past a large, blazed pine tree, to Marker A-38. The marker is located where a small creek, usually dry, enters Fletcher Creek from the west.

5.  Side trips and Hiking trips are described at appropriate locations. For most of the side trips, a high clearance or four-wheel drive vehicle will be required.

Here  is a sample of the information on one of the Additional Trips presented in the Applegate Guide From Lassen Meadows To Goose Lake:


To reach the Peter Lassen and Edward Clapper murder site from Marker A-15B, continue 0.9 miles east on the dirt road from Wheeler Reservoir to a four-way road junction.  Continue across  this junction (4WD high clearance is recommended). Then go 2.3 miles Through a wilderness area, and crossing two deep gullies. Park where you can turn around. The murder site and a large boulder is off to the right, before the dry creek bed. (See Map 6 on next page.)

6.   Numerous photographs of scenes along the trail are included and identified. Many of these photos are unique to the guides.

7.   Special features include an introductory history of the Applegate Trail and historical commentaries on events and sites along the trail, such as emigrants’ post office, murders, sufferings, humor, and deadly encounters.




For a photo tour of the Applegate Trail click here.