California National Historic Trail (Nht), Hastings Pass

Bureau of Land Management, Utah.

The Hastings Cutoff route was used from 1846 to 1850 by pioneers and gold rushers attempting to save 300 miles off the normal route to California via Idaho. This route was first pioneered by the Fremont expedition in 1845 and promoted a year later by the ambitious Lansford W. Hastings as a shorter route to the Humboldt River in Nevada. However, the Hastings Cutoff involved a perilous 90-mile waterless trek across the Great Salt Lake Desert sand dunes and mud flats in mid-summer heat with heavy wagons. Hastings Pass is located in the Cedar Mountains and was the first major obstacle for emigrants attempting the crossing. They had 75 more miles to go before reaching fresh water.

Nearby Activities


Take Interstate 80 to Exit 56 for Aragonite. Drive south 2 miles, turn east on gravel Hastings Pass road. It is a 4 mile drive to the summit.