An all "wilderness trail" through the states of Idaho, California, Oregon, and Nevada. The Applegate Trail was originally intended as a less dangerous route to the Oregon Territory, but proved to be even more treacherous due to its waterless "cutoff" route through the northwest corner of Nevada.

In 1848, Peter Lassen, hoping to bring emigrants to his ranch in the Willamette Valley of Oregon acted as a guide to a party of twelve wagons bound for California. He followed a route from about the Humboldt River to Goose Lake where he turned southward through a barely passable route into the Black Rock Desert, christening its nickname, "The Death Route."

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