Carson Pass

Carson Pass

Infobox Mountain Pass
Name = Carson Pass
Photo =
Caption =
Elevation = 8,650 ft. / 2,637 m.
Location = California, USA
Range = Sierra Nevada
Coordinates = coord|38|41|38|N|119|59|15|W|type:pass

Traversed by = State Route 88

Kit Carson Pass, named after the famed explorer Kit Carson, (el. 8,650 ft. / 2,637 m.) is a mountain pass through the Sierra Nevada range in Alpine County, California. It is traversed by State Route 88. It was the most significant overland route during the California Gold Rush, as well as the primary route for shipping resources from California to assist in the Civil War until the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad.

Carson and the expedition of 2nd Lt. John C. Frémont (then of the U.S. Army Topographical Engineers) were returning from a trek from the Pacific coast of Oregon, following the Columbia River and the Oregon Trail. As they hit northern Utah Territory (Nevada), they decided to turn south. His stated objective was to find the legendary Buenaventura River, which was said to flow from the Rocky Mountains through the Sierra Nevada to San Francisco Bay. Since Jedediah Smith's 1828 explorations had mostly disproven its existence, it is unknown what Frémont's true objective was.

As they made their way down the eastern Sierras, they discovered Pyramid Lake and the Truckee River (which he named "Salmon Trout River"). On January 31, 1844, the expedition was encamped at what is now Carson Valley. The situation was dire. Snow was steadily falling and supplies were very low. Frémont had planned to start east across the Rockies, but it didn't seem likely they would be able to make it through. Carson suggested that they head west instead to Sutter's Fort, where they could resupply.

in the distance. On February 21, they made it through the pass, just west of Red Lake, that now bears Carson's name. Finally, on March 6, the entire expedition arrived at Sutter's Fort, with no fatalities.

Five years later, a group of Mormons built a wagon trail from Sly Park through the Carson Pass all the way to Carson Valley. This route then became known as the Carson Trail and it was the most popular of the wagon train routes for the '49ers who came to work in the northern mines. Later the road would be extended through the Carson Spur around the north shore of Silver Lake, and southwest to Jackson where prospectors could move on to the southern mines. State Route 88 now goes through the pass just north of where Carson himself traveled, and follows this southern route.

The Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650 mile (4,240 km) long National Scenic Trail crosses State Route 88 at Carson Pass.

California Historical Landmark #315, where Carson carved his name into a tree, is located at the summit of the pass.


*cite web | url= | title=Kirkwood History – The Opening of the Kit Carson Pass | first=Anthony | last=Belli | year=2004 | publisher=Kirkwood Mountain Resort | accessdate=2005-09-15
*cite news | last=Hughey | first=Richard | url= | title=Capt. Fremont makes winter crossing of Carson Pass | date=1999-04-02 | publisher=Mountain Democrat | accessdate=2005-09-23
*cite web | url= | title=Alpine| work=California Historical Landmarks | publisher=Office of Historic Preservation | accessdate=2006-03-31

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Carson Pass — Vue depuis le col. Altitude 2 637 m Massif Sierra Nev …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Carson — may refer to:People*Carson (surname), people with the surname Carson *Carson (given name), people with the given name Carson Place names;United States *Carson, California *Carson, Iowa *Carson, North Dakota *Carson, Washington *Carson, Wisconsin… …   Wikipedia

  • Carson River — Carson (rivière) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Carson. La bras occidental de la Carson River La Carson River, nommée d après l explorateur Kit …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Carson (rivière) — 39° 42′ 47″ N 118° 39′ 22″ W / 39.7131, 118.656 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Carson, Kit — orig. Christopher Carson born Dec. 24, 1809, Madison county, Ky., U.S. died May 23, 1868, Fort Lyon, Colo. U.S. frontiersman, scout, and Indian agent. Raised in Missouri, he ran away from home at age 15 to become a trapper and trader in the… …   Universalium

  • Carson River — The Carson River, named after explorer Kit Carson, is a river in northern California and northwestern Nevada in the United States, approximately 150 mi (241 km) long. It originates in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, fed by melted snow …   Wikipedia

  • Carson (Nevada) — Carson City Ehemalige US Münzprägeanstalt in Carson City Lage in Nevada …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Carson City (Nevada) — Carson City Ehemalige US Münzprägeanstalt in Carson City Lage in Nevada …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Carson City, Nevada — Carson City redirects here. For other uses, see Carson City (disambiguation). Carson City   Independent city   Consolidated Municipality of Carson City …   Wikipedia

  • Carson City — Ehemalige US Münzprägeanstalt in Carson City Lage in Nevada …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.