The Oregon- California Trails Association is an organization dedicated to the preservation, appreciation and enjoyment of all transmigration trails to the west, the trails that made the United States an ocean-to-ocean nation.

Updated Membership Roster Is Now on the Members Only Page

Upcoming Events

2019 Spring Symposium

California Nevada OCTA Chapter Symposium
Save the Date!
April 26, 27, 28, 2019

The 2019 chapter symposium is in the early planning stages.  The location will be historic San Juan Bautista, California, and the theme will be “After the Tragedy.”  We will talk about the survivors of the Donner Party:  who survived, what happened to them, where they went, how their family prospered or did not.  We chose San Juan Bautista because the Breen family went there immediately after their rescue.  Although San Juan Bautista is a very small community (population 1700) they are rich in history.  We will visit the mission, the Castro-Breen adobe, the cemetery, Fremont Peak and the De Anza Trail.  If none of that interests you, this little community has a downtown area worth the trip by itself, with old adobes and numerous wine and gift venues along with several antiques shops.  Mark your calendars and make your plans!  Specifics and reminders will follow through email and Trail Talk.


See the Members Only Page for the Latest Issue of Trail Talk

Email for the Members Only Password  – canvocta@gmail.com

2018 Activities

Annual Fernley Swales Cleanup – September 22, 2018

Second from right is Roy Edgington, mayor of Fernley

Tom Fee with Rachael Crews, BLM archeologist, who helped set up this year’s cleanup with Jon Nowlin

The annual cleanup event in Fernley was part of the celebration of National Public




Fifth Annual Heritage Day – John Marsh House

Marsh Creek State Park, Brentwood, California
October 20, 2018

John Marsh House


Marsh Creek State Park is California’s newest–and largest–state park. The Marsh home is the focal point of the historic aspect of this multi-featured property. It is situated on the northeast foot of Mt Diablo along Marsh Creek in a rapidly developing area of the East Bay, Contra Costa County

The address is 21789 Marsh Creek Road, Brentwood, CA 94513. It is about a 25-mile drive from Stockton (I-5) via Hwy 4, across the San Joaquin River delta islands  It is also reachable from I-580 in Tracy via Byron Road (County Rd J4). From further north and west, Hwy 4 east from I-80 and I-680 in Contra Costa County. (For the avid sightseers, Hwy 160 from Sacramento along the Sacramento River, connects to Hwy 4 just west of Brentwood.


Roller Pass Hike – Truckee River Route

The Roller Pass Hiking Group

The hike to Roller Pass on July 15th was a great success.  It was over six miles, up and down,  round trip but it was worth it!

Looking Down Roller Pass




Seeing yet another amazing feat accomplished by the emigrants was incredible.

The Later Alternative Route

Our thanks to CA-NV member David Fullerton for his well planned leadership and informative narrative during the hike.



It was a steep trail all the way up to the pass.


For more information about upcoming activities email the Chapter at canvocta@gmail.com


CA-NV Chapter OCTA
 Meeting and Symposium

April 27, 28 and 29th, 2018
Fernley and Fallon, Nevada

Looking east on the 40 Mile Desert

Saturday included three speakers.  Bill Adams shared his experiences leading wagon trips across the 40 Mile Desert. Ron Bell spoke about the Pony Express Association in Nevada and Ken Johnston presented a new theory about  Peter Lassen, J. Goldsborough Bruff  and the discovery of the Nobles Trail.



Sunday morning those attending had  a choice of  touring  the Naval Air Station at Fallon Top-Gun School or a tour of  sites on the 40 Mile Desert.




Petroglyph at Grimes Point

The afternoon was spent at Grimes Point Archaeology Site and a tour of Hidden Cave.

Inside Hidden Cave


Dick Young  

Dick Young

Richard (Dick) Carroll Young, 85, of Yuba City, passed away August 6, 2017. He was born in Sacramento to Anne and Jacob Young and graduated from CK McClatchy High School. He married Joan Bosworth in 1954, graduated from UNR in Civl Engineering to begin his 38 year career at Division of Highways/CalTrans.

During his life, Dick presided as Mayor of Yuba City and President of Lake Tahoe Historical Society, Barton Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and El Dorado County STAR at So. Lake Tahoe.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Joan Young; children, Sharon Wonder, Peter Young, Christina Estabrook; 5 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren and two cousins.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to: Barton Memorial Hospital Foundation, 2170 South Avenue, SLT, CA 96150 or South Lake Tahoe Historical Society, 3058 Lake Tahoe Blvd., SLT, CA 96150 or Oregon California (emigrant) Trails Association, 524 S. Osage Street, Independence, MO 64050.

A Celebration Life will be held at St. Andrew Church, Sunday, October 29, 2017 from 1-4 pm.

Published in Appeal Democrat from Aug. 19 to Sept. 18, 2017

Reno Gazette-Journal   August 8, 2017

Preserving history: Saving the Fernley Swales