P1070184-(600x800)The annual Carson Trail Cleanup and Trail Marking was held on July 30th and 31st.

The cleanup began at Luther Pass and worked down the trail to Hope Valley.

P1070182-(800x600)Lots of lopping and sawing was needed to clear sections of the trail.




“Mr. Luther, of Sacramento, passed through the Pass over the eastern summit with a wagon in 1851 [sic, probably 1854], and painted his name upon a rock; and hence I named it Luther’s Pass. Mr. Henderson, Mr. Cary and others made a hasty reconnaissance of it in the winter of 1854-’55, and in the Fall of that year, after examining several other routes, I selected it as the most central and desirable point to cross into Carson Valley, and proceeded to locate the route in detail by careful instumental survey. T0 distinquish it from Johnson’s route, I have usually called it “the Luther’s Pass route.”

Sherman Day
Sacramento Union
May 19, 1857

“By following the new pass, now called Luther’s pass, from Bigler Lake Valley to Hope Valley, the descent is made easy, could the narrow valley between the Johnson pass and Luther’s pass be bridged over, by a lofty viaduct of all the routes yet known, this would be the one for the Pacific Railroad, as there need be no grade upon it, exceeding 100 feet to the mile.”

George H. Goddard
San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, Oct. 8, 1855

P1070178-(600x800)The group followed the NPS pregnant triangles through the forest.

Our work was all downhill and many sections were easy walking with no brush.


On April 3, 1860 the first Pony Express rider left San Francisco for St. Joseph, Missouri. The Luther Pass Route was part of this first Pony Express journey.


1-P1070191John Grebenkemper and his Human Remains Detection Dog, Kaylee, verified a possible pioneer grave in Hope Valley.