Free Emigrant Road

The “Free Emigrant Road” was built in 1853. In 1853-54  2,000 pioneers traveled here. It has lain virtually unknown for the last 155 years. After 35 years of research, this historic road has been found in its entirety from Indigo Springs to Crescent Lake, some 20 to 25 miles. It has been mapped and marked for easy location. The story of the “Free Emigrant Road” (Lost Wagon Train) is a well-known folk tale of this area, but few really knew where it was.
Walking along remnants of the trail gives one the opportunity to experience how the pioneers really came West… their excitements and sorrows.

Great care has been given to the Free Emigrant Road to keep it in its natural condition. What remains of the 155-year-old road is quite visible on much of the route. Those who are in charge of the land have extensive rules for traveling. In some areas only one group of no more than 12 are permitted in any one day. Solo or duet traveling is highly encouraged for a more reflective experience. With marking, waypointing  and the creation of a map, there is reasonable assurance that future generations will have access to this historic byway for years to come.

  • Guided tours available
  • Interpretive materials available
  • 4-wheel-drive or high-clearance vehicle recommended in some sections

Get more information on this area from

National Geographic