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December 2005
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Wonderful Wyoming - December 2005

The Cherokee Trail

Please do not mistake the “Cherokee Trail” for the “Trail of Tears”, where the Cherokee were forced to leave their homelands in the Southern United States and walk to the reservation in Oklahoma .


The California Goal rush in 1849 was the cause for some of the Cherokees to head for California .  Some moved their entire family, while others left their families on the reservation because they intended to return.  Many of the Cherokees were trained miners as they had worked in gold mines in northern Georgia and had much experience.


In 1849, they started out from Oklahoma for the gold mines in California .  One of the things that make their trails different from other trails to the west coast, is that they did not cross the Continental Divide at South Pass and yet they traveled on the Overland Trail, the Oregon Trail and the California Trail.  They wandered back and forth across what is now the northern Colorado and southern Wyoming borders.  Another group left the reservation in 1850, but neither group made much money in the California gold fields.  After the original strike in California , most of the profitable claims had already been registered.  The Cherokee did find some gold in Colorado and Wyoming .

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